The Coalition of Independents for Reform enters into the following accord with the electorate:
1. It will remain an alliance of independent candidates and does not aspire to become a political party.
2. It will permit candidates to champion their own policies subject to these not being in conflict with the core principles.
3. It does not support block voting, advocating instead that voters should vote for their preferred candidates from any party, based on individual attributes rather than on party membership.
4. It will seek that truth, justice and democracy prevails.
Constitution, International Status and Spain
5. It will not be distracted from concentrating on local issues by pursuing constitutional advances or a change to Gibraltar’s international status. The reason is that it respects the results of the 2006 Constitutional referendum, despite it being misrepresented as being an exercise in self-determination; consequently, it accepts that the UK is unlikely to countenance any change for at least two generations.
6. It will pursue good neighbourly relations with Spain without compromising on sovereignty fundamentals.
7. It will champion democratic reform by increasing the number of MPs to 25 by the creation of 8 districts each of which will elect an MP. These 8 can only be backbenchers representing constituents and not be appointed as Ministers. In addition to these 8 there will continue to be 17 MPs, elected as at present by all voters in Gibraltar. These 17 will be elected, by a reformed electoral system, on the basis of either proportional representation or an alternative vote system, as may be chosen, following advice sought from the Electoral Reform Society. Only the latter 17 will be eligible to be appointed as Ministers,
8. It will promote the passing of a Freedom of Information Act and reforms to Parliament with a view to improving democracy and increasing accountability. In this regard:
a. It will seek a requirement for more frequent meetings;
b. It will seek to have more frequent questioning of Ministers on specific days;
c. It believes in the establishment of a Permanent Parliamentary Committee to hold the executive arm of government and the public administration to account;
d. It will seek further systemic changes to increase the accountability and transparency of government;
e. It will promote the installation of remote control cameras in Parliament to permit broadcasting on the Internet and/or GBC.
Empowerment of Public Administration
9. It believes in empowering civil and public servants, including authorities, commissions and quangos, freeing them from centralised political control but ensuring their accountability consequent on being so empowered.
10. It advocates the creation of an independent Anti-Corruption Authority. This authority will receive confidential reports about bribery and corruption. It will have power to investigate these complaints. It will be empowered also to investigate any other matters touching upon bribery and corruption of its own volition.
11. It will promote fundamental rights and greater accessibility to enforcement of these rights by promoting the appointment of a Commissioner of Fundamental Rights. The Commissioner will investigate any complaints of breaches of these rights. If the Government refuses to comply with the opinion of the Commissioner, the Commissioner will issue and prosecute, at the expense and cost of the Government, a case before the Supreme Court as permitted by the 2006 Constitution.
12. It believes that to encourage revenue it does not need to reinvent the wheel. It will continue with the generation’s old policies of promoting Gibraltar as a port, a tourist and shopping centre and a jurisdiction for financial services and gaming. It will prioritise expenditure on
a. Social services and the disadvantaged, including the mentally ill, reforming the system to make it more individualised and focused;
b. Encourage and promote savings and efficiency throughout the public administration;
c. Improve on the selection of government contractors and service providers;
d. Reduce capital projects that unnecessarily increase recurring annual expenditure;
e. Trim existing expenditure wherever possible.
Public Debt and Liabilities
13. It believes in reducing the public debt thus mitigating the possibility of a default. This action will avoid adverse consequences to the economy, finance centre, and not put at risk British sovereignty.
14. It will urge the engagement of experts to undertake an in depth study of the future long-term and contingent liabilities of Gibraltar to assess affordability and to provide advice on remedial action.
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