Business heads to hold candidates accountable

Business Leaders who have put Government on notice that they want greater accountability in governance, has taken concrete steps toward securing action from the politicians.

The Gleaner has learned that a meeting of Chamber of Commerce heads and business leader held recently in Ocho Rios, emerged with consensus that candidates in the upcoming election should be made to sign a covenant with their constituents, agreeing to address the more serious problems shortly after they are elected.

Business heads to hold candidates accountable

The resolution will be sent to all the political parties for their endorsement.

The various Chambers are currently working on the wording of the document,

which will be sent to the general secretaries of the political parties.

It calls for all candidates throughout the 60 constituencies to sign off on a document, prepared by their local Chamber of Commerce, pledging to deal with the two most critical issues affecting their constituency, in a period not exceeding 100 days.

The issues, depending on the area, could be anything from crime, bad roads, water, tourism, electricity or telephone service.

“What we are looking for is accountability from our politicians,” said Joe Issa, author of the resolution and executive vice president of the SuperClubs chain of hotels.

“Too often we see candidates getting elected and pretty much disappearing from the scene soon after. We are hoping to change this unfortunate trend by putting them on the spot for a change,” said Mr. Issa.

“We are not trying to intimidate or ambush anybody, what we are saying is that our political representatives must be held accountable by the people in their constituency.”

President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) Anthony Chang agreed. According to him, “This is an excellent idea which my organization has no problem embracing,” he said.

“I am also confident the political parties will view this proposal as something positive.”

Donovon Cover, president of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce said his organization was all for accountability and adds that voters would be looking keenly to see whom, if anybody would refrain from signing off on the document.


Source: The Gleaner