KINGSTON, Jamaica (September 17, 2018):The Office of the Political Ombudsman (OPO) is marking the 13th anniversary of the signing of the Agreement and Declaration on Political Conduct with a conference titled, “Jamaica’s Democracy, Parties, Participation and Principles.”

The invitation-only event will take place on Friday, September 21, 2018 from 9 a.m. until 12 noon at the University of the West Indies, Mona Faculty of Law (Room 1B). Registration and liquid refreshments will begin at 8:30 a.m.

The conference intends to interrogate democracy and politics in Jamaica and to conceive of next steps in reducing political tribalism, promoting transparency, accountability, the Rule of Law and good governance.

Former Prime Minister and signatory to the code, Mr. Bruce Golding, will be a special guest at the event, and bring greetings.
The keynote address will be delivered by Mr. Howard Mitchell, President of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica.

Other presentations are expected from Dr. Henley Morgan of the Agency for Inner-City Renewal, PNP YO president Ms. Krystal Tomlinson, G2K president Mr. Stephen Edwards and Political Ombudsman Hon. Donna Parchment Brown.

Professor Hopeton Dunn will moderate the event, including discussions following the presentations.

The Agreement and Declaration on Political Conduct was signed on September 20, 2005 by then Prime Minister P.J. Patterson and then Opposition Leader Bruce Golding.

The document outlines eight core standards for the practice of politics in Jamaica. They include: Non-Violence and Non-Intimidation, Safety of Private and Public Property, Avoidance of Confrontation, Acceptable Public Utterances, Freedom of Access/Movement, Avoidance of Defacing of Buildings or Installations, Ending Political Tribalism, and finally, adherence to a Code of Ethics.

These standards are intended to promote democracy, good governance, and a fair and just electoral process.

The code applies to all candidates as well as officials of political parties. It is binding for members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and for Mayors and Councillors.

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