Wed | May 23, 2018

Avoid dirty money, ombudsman warns candidates

Published:Friday | April 20, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Parchment Brown

Candidates for the May Pen North by-election, Tanya Lee Williams and Earl Blake, on Wednesday morning signed the Political Code of Conduct at the office of William Shagoury, custos of Clarendon.

Shagoury urged the two to "do away" with political tribalism and to be careful of what is said on the political platform as, he said, it can create animosity.

He also reminded them to bear in mind that they are one people, just from a different party and as such, he charged them to look out for each other.

"If there is anything that I hate, it is political tribalism; I want none of that here," Shagoury warned the candidates.

Both Blake and Williams said they had no problems being civil to each other as they actually grew up together and are friends.

"We were both surprised when we discovered we would be running against each other," Blake said.

Tanya Williams' campaign manager, Joel Williams, in pledging his support for the code of conduct, made reference to a news item where his colleague, People's National Party (PNP) councillor for Canaan Heights, Carla Watt, said there were some areas in the division where PNP supporters had challenges voting as they were barred.

"I want to rubbish that ... . I want to assure Carla that if there is any problem at a polling division - be it at Bucknor or anywhere else - I am willing to personally sit at that polling station, but I know I won't have to do that," he said.

Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown reminded campaign managers that they are personally responsible and liable for whatever is done to further their candidates.

"You cannot hide behind the party. Whatever is done to advance your candidacy, make sure it is something that makes you sleep at night," she said.

Parchment Brown also pleaded with the candidates not to use public funds or dirty money in the campaign.