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Register political parties as businesses—Ramadhar
Congress of the People leader Prakash Ramadhar says it is time for political parties to have a registration process similar to businesses. “We want to codify that (registration process) so it is operated like a business, where you would have accounts and everything, and the population would know who is going up for election and who is funding them,” Ramadhar said. He felt that would remove the suspicion that when political parties got into power there was some sort of payment for financiers. “This is the openness and transparency that we are all talking about,” said Ramadhar.
He envisioned a future where political parties would be required to publish financial accounts for public scrutiny. Ramadhar made the recommendation yesterday while speaking to media moment’s before he delivered a document, called The People’s Charter, to the Elections and Boundaries Commission, Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain. The document provides recommendations on a code of conduct for people in public office. Ramadhar said the issue of integrity and conflict of interest was highlighted in the document. “When we take an oath in the Parliament as members of Parliament, we take an oath to make decisions without fear or favour. “Outside of the Parliament we need to, in our daily lives, be exemplars,” he added.
Ramadhar said issues, such as manners, aggression and the words used, needed to be looked at. He noted the protest outside Parliament last Friday, where Sport Minister Anil Roberts chose to walk through a large group of Opposition supporters and was heckled. He said: “That kind of mob-like behaviour ought never to have happened. “For too long the silent majority feel that they have no voice and we must give them that voice.”