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Keep this campaign promise

Published: 
Thursday, May 17, 2018

A ruling by Justice Frank Seepersad in a lawsuit brought against former government minister Jack Warner brings the issue of campaign finance back into sharp focus.

Justice Seepersad’s call for a proper framework for campaign financing is timely, with general elections less than two years away and the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) yet to deliver on its manifesto promise for legislation.

The role and influence of money in politics has been of concern for quite some time, as over several election cycles in this country there have been marked increases in campaign expenditure by the major parties.

As of now, there are no laws or policies in the country about the raising and spending of money in an election. This raises fundamental ethical questions about sources of election funding and financiers and how it affects democracy.

There is an urgent need to regulate campaign fund-raising and spending, to avoid a situation where elected representatives are able to use their office to reward their campaign financiers, who gain privileged access to the corridors of power.

If the current administration is really serious about campaign finance legislation, they should be mindful of the fact that time is running out on getting it on the parliamentary agenda for debate and passage before the 2020 election season.

A tragic loss

Guardian Media extends condolences to the family and friends of former national defender Jlloyd Samuel, who died in a car crash in England on Tuesday.

Samuel lost his life in very tragic circumstances when his Range Rover reportedly collided with a truck as he was on his way back home after dropping his children to school.

He was born in San Fernando but grew up in London where he played for England up to under-21 level.

Although Samuel played two full international matches for T&T in 2009, he is best known for his nine-year spell at Aston Villa, where he made 169 Premier League appearances.

Comfort and strength to his wife Emma and his three children Javarne, Lakyle and Amara at this very difficult time.

Ramadan Kareem

Today, Muslims around the world begin the fasting month of Ramadan, a religious exercise that is intended to bring the faithful closer to God. During the month, food and water are prohibited during the times of fasting and the focus is on prayer, meditation, reading the Qur’an and acts of charity.

Ramadan Kareem to the members of T&T’s Muslim community.

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