ERC finalising Code of Conduct for political parties

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The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) is working on a code of conduct for political parties ahead of the upcoming general and regional elections.

The ‘comprehensive’ document is being finalised and will address discriminatory comments at public rallies and other election functions, ERC Commissioner, Neaz Subhan told the media at a press conference Monday.

“We are in the process of finalising it to share it with the parties to get them to buy into it and sign onto it,” Subhan said.

Chair of the ERC John Smith noted that meetings were already held with the Opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic.

He highlighted that in tandem with the Constitution of Guyana, political parties can be banned from participating in the elections for a specified period for breach of any law dealing with ethnicity.

“We will hold them to that,” the ERC Chair asserted.

The members of the ERC were appointed in 2018. They are Bishop John Smith (Chairperson), Mr Barrington Braithwaite, Ms Ruth Howard, Mr Roshan Khan, Major General (Ret’d) Norman McLean, Pandit Deodat Persaud, Mr Ashton Simon, Ms Rajkumarie Singh, Mr Neaz Subhan and Mr Norris Witter.

The body’s mandate is to provide equality of opportunity between persons of different ethnic groups and to promote harmony and good relations between such persons and provide the elimination of all forms of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity.

It is also required to discourage and prohibit persons, institutions, political parties and associations from indulging in, advocating or promoting discrimination or discriminatory practices on the grounds of ethnicity.

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