The Cayman Islands Human Rights Commission(HRC) has reiterated its call for a Parliamentary Code of Conduct, in light of the central issue which has led to the April 14th snap elections.
Premier Alden McLaughlin abruptly brought the May 26th election forward following repeated calls for a motion of no-confidence in Speaker McKeeva Bush following his conviction and suspended sentence in December for assaulting a woman.
The Premier had been resisting the calls to schedule a meeting of Parliament to debate the motion.
In a statement, the HRC says: "With continued growing public concern around the leadership and decisions of the country, the Commission again takes the opportunity to reiterate the importance of the Country establishing a Parliamentary Code of Conduct.”
It contends that implementing policy documents, like Parliamentary Codes of Conduct, “can help ensure that persons holding positions of power in our Islands are subject to transparent checks and balances and that they remain accountable for their behaviour.”
According to the HRC, while the Cayman Islands continues to make great strides toward good governance, the failure of elected representatives to enact a Parliamentary Code of Conduct is an area in which the jurisdiction is lagging.
“We are behind compared to other Caribbean and Commonwealth nations,” Dale Crowley the Chairman of the Commission said, adding that the organisation will continue to advocate for the code to be implemented.
The HRC further links this objective to its recommendations to the Commission for Standards in Public Life (CSPL) “as the nature of this matter relates to upholding high ethical standards and integrity in public office.”
It disclosed that Rosie Whittaker-Myles, chair of the CSPL, had stated that the CSPL “fully endorses the Commission’s recommendation for the development of a Parliamentary Code of Conduct and Members are happy to assist in any way necessary to progress this matter.”
“The development of, and adherence to, such a Code of Conduct would only serve to enhance the reputation of our Parliament and respect for its Members," she is quoted as stating. The CSPL chairwoman also told the HRC that, the CSPL has provided feedback on a draft Ministerial Code of Conduct and has been, for several years, following up with the Cabinet Office on the finalisation of that Code "which, unfortunately, remains in draft form” she told the HRC.
The organisation is meanwhile encouraging all candidates in the election to support the recommendation of the development of a Parliamentary Code of Conduct.
It is also appealing to voters to “stand firm in holding our elected representatives accountable.”
27 Jan, 2020
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