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'Political Party Symbols Need To Be Protected'

Attorney General Carl Bethel.

Attorney General Carl Bethel.

By MORGAN ADDERLEY

Tribune Staff Reporter

madderley@tribunemedia.net

PROTECTION for political party symbols need to be “expanded” to prevent people from using party symbols to send “negative messages”, Attorney General Carl Bethel said yesterday.

In an interview with the Tribune, Mr Bethel said the government is looking at “several models” for regulating the political sector – including finance reform and party symbols.

When asked if legislation for political party regulation and protection will be introduced when the House of Assembly returns in October, Mr Bethel replied: “We are looking at several models of regulation of the political sector, including finance reform- we’re looking intensely at that issue.”

“One of the aspects may also be the fact that once a political symbol is recorded with the parliamentary commissioner and accepted as the symbol, certainly for the purpose of the election, that symbol cannot be used by any candidate without a letter from the party chairman or the party leader, period.

He continued: “Now that’s only for the purpose of election. Well that protection needs to be expanded to prevent people from using party symbols to send negative messages under the guise of being a party statement. If you look at the recent PLP convention, there were a host of very negative, very damaging, very malicious and I’d say almost libelous memes that went out against one particular candidate, all under the guise of the PLP symbol. That was inappropriate.”

Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Fred Mitchell yesterday said the Opposition would “like to see what they propose”.

Mr Mitchell was asked by the Tribune yesterday to provide the Opposition’s position,on this matter and respond to reports that the PLP had previously considered making strides to protect its symbol.

“We have taken no official policy position,” Mr Mitchell said.

“What we have is an application now before the (AG) which he refuses to sign off on under the Companies Act to incorporate the PLP as a company by guarantee with non profit status.

“We would then vest all property, including intellectual property like the symbol, in that company.”

“In the meantime we have also said we would consider a special Act to create a statutory Corporation which would do the same thing,” Mr Mitchell continued. “Neither has moved forward.”

“In the last parliament both sides had agreed in a select committee to fund political parties in their administrative work with an annual subvention paid by the state provided they were in the House of Assembly... it was only if the parties accepted the funding that they had to affirm annually that the money was spent for the purpose.

“The general regulation of political parties is not a matter that goes down very well…” Mr Mitchell added.

Comments

proudloudandfnm 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Someone give Carl something to do!! He mussee bored bad.....

Pure nonsense.....

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Ever since May 2017 Carl Bethel has been focused on any and every thing but his job as AG. He has absolutely no sense of what should be prioritized or ignored. He is an old, toothless and useless lap dog of the dismal Hubert Ingraham era who has way too many political fleas still hidden away in his mange. The very dimwitted Minnis sure can pick 'em!

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The_Oracle 3 weeks, 5 days ago

So now treasury $$ is officially being given to political parties? I say officially as they've all siphoned from the cookie Jar over the decades no doubt.

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TalRussell 3 weeks, 5 days ago

This issue is resurfacing. When AG Carl Wilshire QC, first brought to media protecting the symbols red shirts party - I reminded this QC but a month back that once a symbol is used publicly that it can never be protected as it becomes property public domain, yes, no .... .Symbol can be used, abused and there's not damn thing Carl Wilshire, nor anyone else, can do legally stop its use

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sheeprunner12 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Whatever happened to the present Copyright, Intellectual Property laws??????????

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moncurcool 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Before we waste time on giving what Fred Mitchell said they voted in committee to give parties government money, make sure to bring the recall bill for MPs and the term limits bill for Prime Ministers first.

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