SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS WARNS CANDIDATES AGAINST TREATING by Turks & Caicos Islands Government Press Office

As the By-Election for Richmond Hill and Cheshire Hall Constituency ED 7 Providenciales on Friday March 22, 2013 draws closer, Supervisor of Elections, Dudley Lewis has issued another reminder to candidates, that under the Election Ordinance they are NOT allowed to offer inducements to electors to influence their voting intention.
Candidates, political parties or anyone associated with them are not permitted to provide food, drink, gifts of any kind or cash during political rallies, meetings or general campaigning, as these could interpreted as an attempt to corruptly influence a voter in the way they cast their vote at the by-election.
This behavior, known as ‘treating’ is illegal. The Supervisor of Elections explained that ‘treating’ has been illegal for many years, although in past elections some people have chosen to ignore it. Such behavior is no longer being ignored. The person offering this kind of inducement is committing a serious criminal offence and so is any member of the public who accepts a gift or cash.
Mr. Lewis has warned that he will follow up on all reports received and will not hesitate to collaborate with the Police to initiate criminal investigation. He is also inviting members of the public to inform him if they are aware of any incident involving voter inducements. He also points out that inexpensive tee shirts, caps and advertising materials provided by political parties and candidates are not regarded as treating.
Dudley Lewis explains: “I have been satisfied that campaigning up to the present time has been overwhelmingly free and fair. By issuing this announcement I wish to ensure any tendency to cut corners and disregard election law is avoided during the intensive final days of campaigning”.
Leaders of political parties and Candidates are reminded of their obligation to continue to ensure their campaigns remain within the law.
A fair election, untainted by any hint of corrupt practices, is in the best interest of the voters of Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill and Citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The Supervisor of Elections can be contacted by telephone 946-2558 and email at dllewis@gov.tc .

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