BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - LEADERS of the five political parties contesting the upcoming General Elections in St. Kitts and Nevis have all signed on to the Code of Conduct put forward by the local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
This was confirmed by the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce in a media statement, in which they were commended by the coalition NGOs for their endorsements.
The endorsements were reportedly were completed on June 27.
“The signing of the Code of Conduct offers the right signal for the promotion and practice of ethical behavior during our election process,” the CIC said.
The Leaders of three of the parties - the St. Kitts Labour Party, the Concerned Citizens Movement and the People’s Action - had earlier confirmed the signing of the Code of Conduct, which governs how they should operate during their campaign.
“The Ethical Guidelines and Code of Conduct include recommendations for the candidates running for office and their associates, the Electoral Commission, voters, and the media,” the CIC statement added.
In a lengthy policy document, the six NGOs recommended, among other things, that the candidates must focus on issues rather than personalities, avoid defamation of character of their opponents and avoid abusive language or innuendos.
The NGOs also touched on the role of the Electoral Commission, staiting that it should be transparent and impartial, while inviting independent election observer missions.
Voters are encouraged to exercise their right to vote responsibly and refrain from accepting gifts and/or bribes in return for a vote.
The NGOs reminded the media to report the campaigns honestly and impartially, with equitable access, balanced and fair reporting on all parties vying for office.
“Our Coalition (St. Kitts Christian Council, Nevis Christian Council, St. Kitts Evangelical Association, Nevis Evangelical Association, St. Kitts and Nevis Bar Association, and the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce) is committed to executing its civic duty in sensitizing and reminding all parties, voters, and media on the Ethical Guidelines and Code of Conduct for the Political Process signed in June 2022 by the NGOs and political parties to encourage a free and fair election process. We will continue to use our respective platforms to provide information and educate the electorate, the Candidates, the general, and media houses in this regard,” the statement noted.
The country is expecting to shortly hear a date for the announcement of elections.