“We have taken a hit,” were the words used by Leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan as he reflected on the impact that recent issues surrounding the Amaila Falls had on his party.
Ramjattan made the admission at a press conference held yesterday where the AFC made public its penned code of conduct to be observed by its leaders.
The decision to establish a code of conduct came about after the “Nigel Hughes saga”.
Hughes was exposed of being the secretary of Amaila Hydro Inc., the company set up as a special purpose vehicle for the Amaila Falls Hydro Project. That exposure was coupled with the fact that Cathy Hughes was also retained as Sithe Global’s Public Relations Consultant.
Many responded to the “shocking” news through letters published in the local newspapers as well as through social media including facebook.
Hughes tendered his resignation, which was refused and now the party is ready to move forward, even stronger.
Yesterday Ramjattan said that Hughes is a “champion AFC leader” and that the party is ready to move on with him retaining his position as chairman.
However, Ramjattan also said that in view of public perception about conflict of interest, “we deliberated on a code of conduct and a draft has been accomplished.”
The following is the AFC’s code of conduct;
“A conflict of interest may arise where an elected member of the Management Committee and/or the National Executive Committee (MC/NEC) of the Alliance for Change (hereinafter referred to as “an AFC leader”) has a private material interest that can be affected by the outcome of deliberations in which this leader is participating.
An AFC leader who is a member of the National Assembly, Regional Democratic Council or Neighbourhood Democratic Council shall additionally be guided by and subjected to rules on conflict of interest in his/her respective body.
An AFC leader is at liberty to offer unlimited professional services in pursuit of his/her constitutional right to work and shall not be required to violate confidentiality with legitimate clients.
An AFC leader has a duty to disclose before the decision-making body of which he/she is a member any private material interests in matters being deliberated by either or both of these bodies.
It shall be an agenda requirement of MC/NEC meetings for an AFC leader to voluntarily make periodic disclosure(s) of a private material interest in any matter being deliberated.
Either of these decision-making bodies shall determine, in the absence of the AFC leader in question, whether the nature of the disclosure constitutes a conflict of interest situation over a matter being discussed.
Where it is determined that a conflict of interest exists, the member in question shall recuse him/herself and not participate in deliberations on the particular matter in which he/she has disclosed a material interest.
The leadership body may invite an AFC leader who has made disclosure of a material interest to offer technical or specialized opinions on a matter being deliberated, but that leader shall not exercise a vote or otherwise decide on the matter. Confidentiality or third-party interest, and shall be made only with the consent of the said leader.
An AFC leader who knowingly withholds or fails to make timely disclosure of a private material interest in a matter being deliberated before a decision-making body of which he/she is a member, shall be subject to disciplinary processes under party rules.”
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