Code of Conduct for PNP Leadership Campaign

KINGSTON, (PNP HQ). 2004 July 26



  1. The Party needs to have its entire leadership focused on strengthening the organisation – transforming and rebuilding.  Aspiring leaders need to demonstrate to the membership that they put the National and the Party interests ahead of their own ambitions.
  1. The Party expects all aspirants and candidates to so conduct themselves as to ensure that the Party is not weakened by their actions.

Aspirants are entitled to set out how they would conduct the affairs of the Party and Government or to indicate changes and improvements they might have in mind.  This ought not to be fashioned in a manner that is divisive or likely to impair personal relationships.

At the end, the Nation and the Party need a united team which can function effectively in the aftermath.

  1. Aspirants are therefore expected to refrain from negative campaigning, negative advertising in any form, and from any action which would bring the Party and its processes into disrepute.

4.  Given the high level of media interest in the succession process and the personalities involved, and given the openness of our processes to public access, it must be accepted that aspirants’ activities and statements are likely to become public knowledge.

  1. In developing a Code of Conduct, it is necessary to establish a distinction between preparatory activities undertaken by aspirants and a formal campaign period which should follow a declaration of a transition date and which is not anticipated to be unduly prolonged.
  1. Aspirants/Candidates must assume responsibility for the actions and utterances of those who are publicly identified with them as their agents.
  2. The use of state facilities to support any candidature is absolutely prohibited. Aspirants, who hold Cabinet positions, must adhere to the ministerial Code of Conduct.  They are forbidden in the allocation of resources or in the discharge of their Ministerial functions from any course of action calculated or likely to be seen as a reward to enlist delegates or as discriminatory against those who are not in support.
  3. During the campaign period, candidates should limit their promotional and campaign material to flyers, printed material, CDs, diskettes and promotional clothing items which reflect the character of the campaigns as set out in paragraph 4 above.

    Banners in public places should not be encouraged.


  4. The Joint Agreement and Declaration on Political Conduct signed among political parties shall be regarded as the minimum standards for the internal Presidential elections both before and during the election period.

     In particular:

    • “No threats of violence or intimidation whatsoever, whether expressed or implied, should be made against anyone or any group of persons” because of the support for one or another candidate.  Code of Political Conduct 1(c).

    In particular,

10.   A Monitoring Committee will be established.

It will consist of the General Secretary, the Legal Advisor and the Chairman of the Internal Affairs Commission.  It will be entitled to draw on professional and specialist skills, wherever necessary.

It should draw on the resources of the Party structures and the   contacts available to the Secretariat to monitor the programme of preparatory activity, and later, the campaign.  It will receive reports/complaints from candidates or their agents and take the necessary steps to keep the process on track.

11. Breaches (or allegations of breaches) of the agreed Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for the Party’s Presidential Elections shall be investigated by this group, serving as a ‘Constituted Authority’ in like manner to the provisions of the Ombudsman Act in relation to breaches of conduct amongst parties.

The conclusions and recommendations from the investigation by the “Constituted Authority” shall be reported to the Party President who shall determine appropriate sanctions in accordance. 

A schedule of pre-agreed and collectively determined (amongst the candidates/candidates’ agents and the Party Secretariat).  Appropriate sanctions should be attached in accordance with the nature and extent of the breaches.

12. The election process itself will have a bearing both on the capacity

of the Party to preserve Party unity and on the nature of   campaign activity.

          A clean, intelligent and vigorous campaign by the candidates can   be beneficial to them individually and to the Party generally.  Each candidate seeking to project the vision of the future of the Party and the country can do much to re-ignite enthusiasm for the political process.  Candidates should project a vision for the future and promote confidence.

13.It is necessary to remind those who are actually standing for election that the campaign should not be conducted in such a way as to damage the good name of the Party by way of personal attacks on other candidates.

It is also important to remind everyone that this prohibition applies with equal force to those who are known to be supporters of the candidate and who speak on behalf of a particular candidate.

Candidates have a responsibility to impress upon their followers that such behaviour will not only result in the individuals being brought before the Disciplinary Committee of the Party, but that the particular candidate they represent may also be subject to the same sanctions.

14.Each candidate would be required to commit in a formal signing ceremony to uphold the rules and to observe the code.  Members of the NEC and every Campaign Team will be expected to adhere to the provisions and spirit of the Code.



A. Fundraising and solicitation of money for particular Candidates should be clearly separated from those for Party coffers.  Nor should it be to the detriment of the Party to raise funds for its ongoing activities.

B. All fund-raising events, whether by events of contributions, at every level of the Party, will attract a cess (percentage to be determined) on gross income to be paid to the Party Treasury.  This will provide a source of adequate funding for the Party to discharge its overall responsibilities.  All fund-raising events undertaken by aspirants or candidates would fall under the same regime.

C.    A limit on spending by each of the candidates and their individual agents.  This helps to eliminate bad blood between rival camps and put each candidate on a more level footing. 

The Party should determine the expenditure limit.

It will also decide whether to impose a maximum limit on individual cash donations to each of the candidates and their official agents.

D.   All donations in cash or kind should be accepted based on a “Know your Donor” principle:

E.    Because overseas donors will prove problematic, more intrusive means of verifying sources of wealth are unavoidable, especially concerning individuals. 

Each candidate shall be required to provide the constituted authority with a list of foreign donors (organisations and individuals) from which significant financial support/donations is being solicited/expected.  Foundations/groups also need to be monitored to avoid situations of guilt by association.

F.     Mandatory Financial Disclosure by individual candidates.  This information should include details of income and expenditure on a prescribed form similar to the requirements of the Representation of the People Act.  This should be vigorously enforced.

In the instance of Party Presidential elections, the preliminary/interim returns should be made available to the constituted authority 7 days prior to the Election Day.

Final returns should be made within 2 weeks of the election.

G.   Mandatory Disclosure of significant in-kind contribution by candidates.

Non-cash contribution will be assessed against the limit set for each candidate.



1.       The Party Constitution expressly stipulates how a President is elected at Annual Conferences.

In both 1969 and 1992, the new Party Leader was chosen at a Special Party Conference convened for this purpose.

Rule 131 so provides.

The precise date must be announced to allow for the requisite notice stipulated by the Party Constitution. 

2.       The Standing Orders for Annual Party Conferences provide that voting at any Special Party Conference shall be on the same basis as that on which voting took place at the preceding Annual Party Conference.

  1.      There should be a formal nomination period, and no new nominations 

          should be allowed on the floor of the Conference.

This is necessary in order to ensure that the candidates are known prior to voting day and proper arrangements can be made in advance for the conduct of the polls.

It is also critical to identify the Nominees so that the rules for the conduct of candidates and their campaign teams are obeyed by all and the appropriate penalties can be applied for any breaches which may occur.

  1.      After the nomination process has ended, that interval will become the

Election Period. Each candidate would be required to formally announce its Management Team for the Campaign and appoint the Head and designated members of the Finance Team.

  1.     Once the date for the Special Conference has been fixed, the

         Executive Committee of the Party should then establish an Election 

Committee which will be responsible for making the necessary arrangements to hold the elections free and fair, according to a process that is likely to command confidence in the outcome.

This Committee should be chaired by the General Secretary of the Party.

  1.      The most important task of the Committee will then be to settle the

Voters’ list.  This process is often the main source of contention before, during and after any election of this kind.

Currently the voters’ list for Party Conference consists of:

(a)    The officers of the Party – Rule 132

(b)    The NEC as defined – Rule 136

(c)    Members of the Executive Committee not included in the above

(d)    Party Members of Parish Councils

(e)    Life Members of the Party

(f)    Representatives of the affiliated organisations as provided for in the affiliation agreement

(g)    Two delegates from each recognised group selected in accordance with the provisions of Rules 55-59. 

  1. Under the Constitution, the General Secretary is required to have available at all times a complete list of all recognised groups.  This list is final and constitutes the official registry of groups – See Rule 36.  This works reasonably well for regular Party Conferences.  For a Special Conference of this type, however, it is important the special efforts be made to put in place procedures that would allow any errors in the official list to be corrected well before the Party Conference takes place.
  1. It is important that the process be such as to leave a paper trail which can be used after the election to verify or reject any challenges made to the overall result.  It is therefore proposed:

(a)    That the Secretariat send to each constituency organisation the current official list of the groups in that constituency.

(b)    That a cut-off date be established for the receipt of comments from the constituency so that a final date for the settlement of the list can be established.

(c)    That the Election Committee establishes a special sub-committee to investigate all claims for additional inclusion of any omitted groups or for rejection of groups that should not be there.

The Committee and Secretariat must be prepared to devote maximum energy and authority to the investigation of all claims made in respect of irregularities in the list.  The system must ensure that ‘paper groups’ are detected and disbarred.

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The Jamaica Observer, Monday, July 26, 2004

Code of Conduct for PNP Leadership Campaign, KINGSTON, (PNP HQ). 2004 July 26

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People's National Party

89 Old Hope Road

Kingston 6, Jamaica W.I.