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Facility : Election Guidelines
Country: Montserrat

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Election Guidelines; Proposed by the Montserrat Christian Council (MCC) :
Montserrat is again faced with National Elections. These come at a time when our Country needs stable Government that can address the serious financial and Development needs of our island and the advantage and welfare of all our citizens.

** Because the island needs leaders and voters endured with godly wisdom, personal integrity, honesty and sincerity, and a genuine commitment to the welfare and well being of all the people, inspective of their country of origin, race, color, ethnicity, religious creed or political persuasion.

** Because healthy political rivalry is part of the age old tradition of democracy, but the highest democratic ideals are founded on the principles of mutual respect, decency, freedom of the individual to participate in the process with a good conscience without fear of bribery, coercion, or political reprisals.

** Because Montserrat needs to embrace such lofty principles and values, this being a moment in history when our society needs to cherish moral and spiritual values as the cornerstone of the future development and progress.

Therefore, we the Montserrat Christian Council appeal to all candidates, political parties, members and supporters to take into account the following recommendations of this council.

Guidelines for Political Parties and Candidates :
We ask all parties to commit themselves:
1. To address themselves to issues and principles dealing with sound National growth, economic development, and the wholesome advancement of the citizens of the Nation.
2. To maintain the highest moral principles in keeping with Christian ethics during the campaign, and if elected to form a Government.
3. Not to engage in character assassination of any kind
4. Not to use race, country of origin, or class to degrade any individual, family or section of the society.
5. Not to make unrealistic promises that cannot be kept
6. Not to use half-truths, or lies to gain political mileage.
7. Not to bribe any elector to vote for them and to charge their agents not to offer any bribes on their behalf.

Guidelines for the Electorate :
We believe that the right to cast a vote in elections carries with it a sacred responsibility and obligation; therefore you are encouraged to exercise that right.

In making such a decision, there are a number of important questions to ask:
** Does the candidate help me understand clearly the issues, problems and opportunities which face the country at this time, and has the candidate convinced me that he/she and his/her party are the best able to tackle these issues, confront these problems, and embrace these opportunities?
** Has the candidate persuaded me by Manifesto or by speech that they and their party are making promises that they can keep?
** Has the candidate shown by his/her life of service to the community that he/she is genuinely interested in the welfare of Montserrat?
** Has any candidate insulted me by trying to buy my conscience with a bribe, such as money, gifts, jobs, with the view of getting my vote?
** Has any candidate disturbed me by indulging in character assassination, filthy talk, racial and social prejudices?

If you take these questions to heart and bear them seriously in mind you will vote wisely and responsibly.

Guidelines for the media :
We encourage the Media both print and electronic to:
** Be objective and truthful in reporting on political meetings, speeches, etc, and avoid sensationalism.
** Provide equal public coverage to candidates of all political parties, without fear or favour, and to practise objective journalism.

We pay that peace, prosperity and goodwill will guide us as a Nation under God.

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