PLP seeks to clarify declaration of interest rules for elections
The Opposition Progressive Labour Party will table a motion in Parliament today calling for a Select Committee on Elections.
The motion, to be introduced by Shadow Education Minister Walton Brown reads:
“Whereas ensuring integrity and transparency in the electoral process is a cornerstone of democracy:
“Be It Resolved that this Honourable House establish a Select Committee on Elections with a mandate of examining and reviewing any matter relating to elections and report the findings and recommendations to Parliament.”
Contacted last night, Mr Brown said his party was seeking clarity on the Constitutional provision that election candidates declare interest in Government contracts.
“There needs to be clarity on the section in the Bermuda Constitution regarding candidates’ declaration interests in Government contracts and the Parliamentary Election Act which points to exceptions. There are diverging views on what this means and Parliament can bring clarity to this,” he said.
“We are in a period when the legitimate expectation of the people is for both transparency and the rule of law to be respected. A select committee — both parties — can review these and related matters dispassionately and bring forth recommendations to Parliament.”
He added that he was confident the measure would meet with bipartisan support.
“I first proposed this committee when I first entered Parliament. Unfortunately, it has taken this long to have the matter tabled before Parliament.”
Also expected to be tabled today is a series of amendments to the Human Rights Act.
Community and Cultural Development Minister Wayne Scott will be tabling a bill which would prohibit age discrimination in the areas of provision of goods, services and facilities, and housing, to extend the definition of harassment to apply beyond the workplace and to approve a number of housekeeping measures.
A long-awaited amendment — to prohibit sexual orientation discrimination — will also be among the measures and human rights campaigners are planning a celebration on the House of Assembly lawn at noon today.