VRA Press For Good Governance Measures

July 17, 2017

A campaign group has vowed to keep pressure on which ever party wins the general election in a bid to press them into legislating for new good governance laws.

The Voters Rights Association [VRA] wants to see a Voters Rights Bill that will put into law important issues such as giving both the Auditor General and the Bermuda Ombudsman the power to subpoena anyone, including Cabinet Ministers.

Geoff Parker, VRA Co-Chairman Emeritus, said: “This Island needs a Voters Bill of Rights to protect every citizen from political abuse of power and political corruption and such a Bill would ensure more accountability and integrity.

“Whatever the outcome tomorrow [Tuesday], all MPs and Senators will be lobbied and pressured by the VRA to put forward and support a Voters Bill of Rights.

“We want something that will keep undue power from the politicians. We need to see a greater depth to our democracy that involves the people to a much greater extent. Divisive party politics does not suit such a small community.”

Stuart Hayward, VRA Co-Chairman Emeritus, added: “What we want is a covenant that will help politicians keep their power in check. We need to see a greater depth to our democracy that involves the people to a much greater extent.”

The VRA wants to see a range of issues addressed in a Voters Bill of Rights such as:

  • The Right to a fair absentee ballot voting system;
  • The Right to Vote, currently the party in power invites you to vote at its election;
  • The Right to Voter Referendums and Citizen Initiatives or similar, to determine public issues.
  • The Right for all election candidates in a constituency to participate in open debate;
  • The Right of constituents to recall parliamentarians they have elected;
  • The Right to fixed-term elections.
  • An Independent Parliamentary Electoral Commission.

Mr Parker added: “Everything we are proposing is designed to help hold Government to account, to lessen the chances of corruption or political interference and to strengthen democracy by giving people more rights.

“That can only be good for everyone and we would urge people to continue to lobby their MPs when they are returned or newly elected on Tuesday.”

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