Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 5th 2014 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, September 5, 2014
Leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ)
David Abdulah yesterday challenged his political col-
leagues to verbally agree to ratify party financing in
order to stop political favours to financial supporters.
Abdulah s call came after yesterday s signing of a
Code of Ethical Political Conduct by all the major political
parties and civil groups.
The code is the result of a union of church, state and
civil groups and is expected to be used as guidelines for
"We came up with a voluntary agreement before the
2015 election to address party financing, if not in general
at least in campaign financing, voluntarily. It can become
law sometime thereafter. It is a challenge that I am
throwing out," he said.
The charter, officiated by Archbishop Joseph Harris
and co-chaired by T&T Transparency Institute head,
Deryck Murray, was signed by representatives of all the
major political parties at the residence of the Archbishop,
Queen s Park West yesterday.
PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley, who has just returned
from London, attended and signed the charter on behalf
of his party as did Independent Liberal Party (ILP) leader
Oudit, during her short contribution, criticised the
absence of the leaders of the Government s major coalition
partners, the United National Congress (UNC) and the
Congress of the People (COP).
Though both parties were represented, Oudit said
while Rowley and Abdulah attended the important meet-
ing, UNC leader Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
and COP leader Prakash Ramadhar were noticeably
"What this signifies is that we are taking ownership
of the governance procedure and the process of gov-
ernance. We are no longer leaving it in the hands of few
electives every five years," Oudit said.
She described the code as "significant."
She added: "I find it very instructive that two political
leaders, while the representatives are here, I think it is
instructive that at this time the significance of the
political leader signing at this time would have signaled
a synchronisation of genuine effort going forward."
The five-part charter outlines a prohibited code of
conduct that includes:
• No use of State resources for political campaign-
• Not offering any inducement or reward to anyone
joining a political party.
• Not use language to provoke violence or make false
or defamatory allegations.
Section Three refers to the media and all parties agreed
to refrain from using State advertising to induce media
support and also to ensure that all parties participated
in at least two live, televised public debates.
Each of the represented parties will nominate one
member which will form a council.
Those nominees are expected to be named by Sep-
tember 26 when Archbishop Harris returns to T&T. The
council is expected to oversee and enforce the code.
Education Minister Dr Tim
Gopeesingh said the Government has
not installed any spyware devices on
the 75,000 laptops it has issued to Form
One students over the past four years.
"There has never been anytime that
we have ever installed any area close to
anything like spyware or malware,"
Gopeesingh said at yesterday s post-
Cabinet news conference at the San Fer-
nando Teaching Hospital.
He also dismissed suggestions some-
thing may be wrong with the computers,
explaining it is only one reported case.
He also expressed surprise the report
was made to the media and not to the
ministry as was required with any irreg-
ularity and that unauthorised installation
of software to the State s property was
Gopeesingh said they intended to
retrieve the laptop and conduct their
own investigation as each unit was
equipped with firewall, anti-virus and
The T&T Guardian first reported ear-
lier this week, in an interview with chair-
man of the T&T Amateur Radio League
(TTARL) Julien Dedier, who said he dis-
covered the spyware while checking a
problem on his daughter s government-
He also said he removed that pro-
gramme and replaced it with another.
Gopeesingh said the laptops issued
to T&T students were Lenovo and HP.
While Lenovo was manufactured in
China, he could not say where the HP
brand came from.
He added: "The Ministry of Education
has taken note of the alleged discovery
of this spyware on the government-
"We also take note of the non-report-
ing of this incident to the Ministry of
Education as is required of any student
who finds such an issue and we also
take note of the admission by the indi-
vidual of the installation of software on
the said laptop by the individual.
"We know the internet is full of appro-
priate and inappropriate content and
content that may hide malware when
"In all cases described in our laptop
agreement, proper supervision for minors
is required when laptops are in use.
"So based on what has emanated we
know that we have strong administrative
policies governing the laptops, strong
supervision by parents.
"The students are advised not to go
into any inappropriate type of pro-
grammes. We have firewalling, we have
ant-theft and anti-virus devices so we
are able to have under our consideration
at all times, in order to advise the stu-
dents," he said.
The winning number drawn yes-
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If your unique number at the back
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Dr Tim: No spyware
on school laptops
Read! Watch! Ca$h! Jackpot at $15,000
Archbishop Joseph Harris is greeted by founder of ILP Jack Warner and chairman of COP Carolyn Seepersad-
Bachan after the signing of a code of conduct of political parties yesterday at the archbishop's residence,
Queen's Park West, Port-of-Spain. Looking on, from left, are co-ordinator of the Network of NGOs of T&T for
the Advancement of Women Hazel Brown, CWU president Joseph Remy, acting chairman of the UNC Kadisha
Ameen, Anglican Archbishop Claude Berkley, PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley, deputy chairman of COP Nicole
Dyer Griffith and PNM chairman Franklin Khan. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
PM, Ramadhar no show at
signing of election code
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