Saturday, October 24, 2009

The electoral agreement- we will hold them responsible...

This is the agreement signed by candidates and other important stakeholders and representatives. We will hold them responsible for this agreement, which needs to be incorporated for future elections as standard operating procedures.

The Honduran constitution establishes general elections for President, Presidential Designates, Representatives to Congress and Municipal Corporations.  The electoral process is, according to the Constitution, under the direction and supervision of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal which is an autonomous agency independent of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Powers; it has legal standing its own governing law and jurisdiction and authority throughout the entire country.
            The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Agreements establish that public powers come from the will of the people which is express via honest elections in accordance with our Laws.
            The current electoral process began in May of 2008, with primary elections in November of the same year to allow the people to elect their candidates under national and international observation, among others the Organization of American States (OAS), which verified the legitimacy of the process and its results.
            Even though the legitimacy of the elections does not depend on the political regime but on the electoral process, in this historic moment in the life of Honduras it is crucial to advance in its democratization guaranteeing free and fair elections which will allow the honest expression of the will of the people, under equal conditions,  transparency and integrity which will encourage political competitiveness and will ensure the electorate that the persons elected will respond with ethic and integrity to the civic compromises of social wellbeing and national progress.
            The Constitution of Honduras, the International Charter of Human Rights, the International Principles of Democracy, the Electoral Law and the Political Organizations, the Law of Transparency and Access to Public Information and the Public Servant Code of Ethical Conduct, state precisely the ethical principles of the Honduran electoral process in which public life as a whole must be characterized by its ethic, transparency and integrity which correspond to a universal democratic aspiration.
            Democratic elections are:
·         A mechanism to form the Government, citizens engaged in the defense and promotion of human dignity which is the aim of the State and of society.
·         A peaceful means to elect our representatives which implies the rejection of violence in all of its forms.
·         Proof of unrestricted respect for the Constitution and the Laws, of the compliance with ethical principles, of guarantee to all citizens, without distinction, of the equality in the  
enjoyment of all their political rights.
Free expression of the genuine will of the people.
            Based on the above, the Political Parties, presidential candidates and broadcasting media, subscribe this Ethical Electoral Agreement to guarantee an exemplary process, free, just and transparent for which we assume the following obligations during the electoral process and during the period prior to the presidential inauguration:
1.      To comply with the Constitution of Honduras and the Electoral Law and of the Political Organizations with respect to the principles and norms which regulate the electoral process and to respect its results.
To support the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (SET) exercising its autonomy, independence and impartiality.
To contribute with the SET to comply with its power to guarantee the security, order and respect of the electoral process in the entire nation, especially, during the elections of the 29th of November and the subsequent period until the presidential inauguration.
2.      To make, during the electoral campaign, a priority to spread our ideological principles, propositions and government programs which reflects human dignity and our ability to make them a reality.
The dialogue and electoral discussions will follow these requirements.
3.      To favor public meetings that allows citizen participation in learning about the electoral proposals.
To officially deposit in the National Anticorruption Board (NAB) the Government Plan presented during the campaign and the resume of all presidential candidates, and presidential designates to make them public and as proof of integrity.
4.      To avoid, condemn and demand sanctions to the appropriate authorities for all violent acts, such as, physical aggressions, verbal or physical personal attacks, threats, coercion, promotion of hatred among social sectors, slander, libel, false accusations and irresponsible publication of false or altered polls.

5.      To assure the observance of transparency principles, honesty, equity and electoral freedom, impartiality, good faith, due process, rendering of financial accounts and campaign expenditures, rejection of unauthorized funds and of the use of public funds in favor of the
candidates; as well as compliance with other norms of ethical and legal conduct contained in the Electoral Law and of Political Organizations, Law of Transparency and Access to Public Information and the Public Servant Ethical Code of Conduct.

6.   To reject and demand sanctions for any action contrary to the citizens free voting right, like
      Bribes, job offers, gifts, extortion  sale of influences, contracts, buying of votes or any other action           
      contrary to ethical principles.

7.To comply with the obligation to inform in detail  the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of income and    expenditures of  the political parties and its candidates giving origin and destination of the same and to allow the citizens free access to this information.

To give public account of the moneys spent during the electoral campaign.

8. To create the atmosphere to allow free participation of the entire population in the electoral process, the national supervision, to report electoral wrong doings, and to demand the fulfillment of this Ethical Political Agreement and to promote the best environment for the international supervision.

9. To respect the election results and to help, during the period before the presidential inauguration, to create a positive     environment in order to strengthen the democratization process and representative institutions.

10. The broadcasting media specially pledges:
                a. To give widespread coverage to the present Ethical Electoral Agreement, for the public to   
                  know it and help in its execution.
                b. To abide by the Electoral Law and of the Political Organizations, especially Articles 141
                   (State broadcasting media), 142 (prohibitions to public servants and employees), 145
                   (T he regulation of polls and public surveys), 147 (anonymous propaganda), 186
                   (to broadcast  results of the ballot) and 229 (to collaborate with the SET);

              c. To give equal opportunities to the political parties and independent candidates to inform and
                  to be informed of all political propaganda to generate a truly democratic debate.

              d. To practice conscientiously the norms of journalistic ethics found in the Broadcasting Law
                   (Articles 32 to 38); and

              e. To contribute to the observance of the values emphasized in this Agreement, making
                  responsible use of the freedom of the press and respecting  the dignity of the candidates.

II. Commitments of control over the fulfillment, circulation and support.

1.       The National Anticorruption Board (NAB) will watch over the fulfillment of this Agreement, will carry out the demands about nonobservance of same, will arrange for rectification and will periodically inform the public.

2.       Without affecting the pre-established in numeral I. 10 letter a., the undersigned Organizations of  this Agreement will adopt all necessary means to inform and make their members respect their ethical principles and commitments.

3.       All citizens, public or private institution or organization of the civil society shall be able to subscribe to this Agreement as supporters, pledging to carry out acts to contribute to the fulfillment of its objectives.

4.       This Ethical Electoral Agreement is sign in two originals and equally authentic copies in order to be
under de safekeeping of the National Anticorruption Board (NAB) and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (SET) respectively.   The obligations contained in this document, once signed, will be published in two newspapers of greatest circulation in the country.

In witness whereof, we sign this Agreement in the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Central America, on the seventh day of the month of October of two thousand and nine.

Illegible signatures.
Porfirio Lobo Sosa     Bernard Martinez Valerio   Felicito Avila Ordoñez  Elvin Santos Ordoñez

Ricardo Alvarez             Jorge Aguilar P.           Lucas Aguilera P.           Elvin Santos L.
National Party              Innovation and             Christian Democrat      Liberal Party
                                       Unity Party                     Party


Jose Rafael Ferrari                       Rodrigo Wong Arevalo                               Humberto Mendoza
President                                         Director                                                        President
Broadcasting Association            Abriendo Brecha                                        National Association of
                                                                                                                                           Radio Stations
Representative                                 Elias Asfura        Mario Flores Ponce
Channel 11                                          Channel 30         Maya TV


Saul Escobar                                       Darwin Andino                                  Jorge Machado
Presiden SET                                      Catholic Church                                 Evangelical Church

                                                                Jose Oswaldo Canales
                                                                Coordinator CNA

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