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Leader of the Congress of the People (COP) and Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar is calling for the immediate adoption of a general code of conduct for politicians, including elected officeholders. Ramadhar said that in the wake of the dismissal of People and Social Development Minister Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh and the resignation of Tourism Minister Chandresh Sharma over alleged incidents of assault on two separate women.
In a statement, Ramadhar said the code should also be for members of state boards and state institutions. He said politicians must evolve and subscribe to higher standards of public behaviour and conduct to prevent a repeat of the recent incidents. He said the COP, which is a member of the People’s Partnership Government, had always advocated for a stricter adherence to high ethical standards, beginning with a document it produced in 2009 for discussion with all political parties titled “The People’s Charter”.
That document “promoted, among other things, that members of government become bastions of selflessness and integrity and that in all things, the interest of the nation must not be subverted by any selfish motive or agenda.”
He urged: “If we are to progress as a people and as a nation we must not be afraid to hold ourselves to a higher level of expectation and subscribe to a code that seeks not to stymie the work of those covered but ensure that what is done at the end of the day, builds a diverse and democratic society and one that has openness, trust, accountability and objectivity at its centre.”
Ramadhar said the COP also supported the current undertaking by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) to engage all political parties on instituting a code of conduct for elections by the next general election.