ALN Newsletter—February 2007 Issue

ALN Newsletter—February 2007 Issue

In recent months, the ALN has witnessed exciting new developments that are bringing it closer towards becoming more effective and more relevant to the needs of its member parties. A new ALN Constitution has been adopted, the first ALN President elected, membership fees agreed and concrete steps have been taken for the ALN to expand the range of its activities, namely in terms of engaging in advocacy campaigns and increasing networking and exchanges of best practice among the member parties.

 

The articles in this newsletter provide a glimpse into some of our recent news as well as pertinent events in our member countries.

 

For other updates, please take a moment to visit our new improved website at www.africaliberalnetwork.org

We also would love to hear your views through our discussion forum.

 

Imen Trabelsi

Africa Network Officer

 

 

ALN Holds First General Assembly Meeting and Elects ALN President, Dakar, Senegal.

The ALN held its first General Assembly meeting on Saturday 3rd February 2007, following the workshop on Advocacy and Lobbying at the International level which took place in Dakar, 31st January-2nd February. The meeting provided an opportunity for the members to reach agreement on outstanding issues and to discuss a plan of action for the Network for 2007. The meeting was also an opportunity for the members to elect the first ALN president; Mr. Aly Toure from RDR- Cote d’Ivoire.

 

 

 

Burkina Party ADF- RDA Joins the ALN as Observer Member

ALN members are pleased to welcome a new sister party from Burkina Faso, l’Alliance pour la Democratie et la Federation/Rassemblement Democratique Africain (ADF-RDA). A representative from the party attended the ALN General Assembly meeting in Dakar (3 February 2007) where he gave a brief presentation and answered questions from the ALN members present at the GA. All members then unanimously voted in favour of the ADF-RDA joining the ALN.

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Mission Accomplished- Tony Leon Announces He Will Relinquish Party Leadership

In a statement delivered on Sunday 26 November 2006, DA Leader Tony Leon announced that he will not be seeking nor accepting nomination for the leadership of the Democratic Alliance when the Party Federal Congress convenes in May 2007.The following is an excerpt from his statement.

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Democracy is More than Elections: The Experience of the Seychelles National Party– by Roger Mancienne, SNP Secretary General

2006 has been a watershed year for the Seychelles National Party. In July, it faced a critical presidential election which it lost only narrowly and on October 3, its leaders were beaten up by police at the entrance of the National Assembly building in Victoria. The two events showed that fair and equitable conditions do not come easily in a political system shaped by the one-party mentality. They also changed the party’s outlook and approach to politics. In other words, our experience showed that elections are not enough to say that a country has achieved democracy.

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Zambia’s Fourth Democratic Elections: A Country of Minority Governments–By Tiens Kahenya, UPND Secretary General

IT wouldn’t be wide off the mark to suggest that Abraham Lincoln’s definition of democracy, as a government of the people for the people and by the people, has almost failed in Africa and Zambia in particular. Since Zambia’s return to multi party democracy in 1991, the country has so far held four elections, three of which have been widely disputed by the civil society and political parties as not reflective of the people’s wishes.

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The Conflict in Cote d’Ivoire: What’s Next?–By Aly Toure, RDR Member and ALN President

Once considered a rare example of stability in the region, Côte d’Ivoire descended into conflict in September 2002 after a failed attempt to topple President Laurent Gbagbo grew into a rebellion that divided the country into two parts: the south controlled by the government, and the north, ruled by the insurgents.

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ALN Sends Message of Condolences to ANADER for loss of Party Leader

During their meeting in Dakar (31 January-3 February 2007),  and upon hearing of the death of ANADER leader Mr.Raphael KUMBU-KI-LUTETE, members of the Africa Liberal Network issued the following statement:

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ALN 2007 Election Calendar

Parliamentary and presidentail elections will be taking place in some of the ALN member countries in 2007 as follows:

 

Senegal                Presidential elections 25 February

Burkina Faso       Parliamentary elections 6 May

Senegal                Parliamentary elections 3 June

Morocco                Parliamentary elections September 2007

Cote d’Ivoire         Presidential elections October 2007

Seychelles           Parliamentary elections November 2007

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ALN Newsletter—July 2005 Issue

ALN Newsletter—July 2005 Issue

Operating democratic elections and campaigns in an oppressive environment is very problematic.  Poor economic conditions, civil conflict, corruption, and political instability can be negative forces working against democratic elections.  However, the power to counteract these negatives lies with independent electoral committees and observer bodies who can regulate the electoral process and promulgate the growth of democratic elections.

The challenges faced in this year’s controversial elections in Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, Togo, Guinea-Bissau, and Ethiopia speak to the difficulty of running unscathed democratic elections while under a state of threat and oppression.  The successful handling of some of these elections (Central African Republic and Guinea-Bissau) and the problematic outcome of the others (Zimbabwe, Togo and Ethiopia) is a testimony of the necessity of peaceful, transparent, free and fair elections handled by efficient, and well-staffed and resourced, independent electoral commissions.

Looking at the various elections across Africa reveal that progress towards democracy is being made, even in the context of oppression.  The lowered incidents of voting fraud and election related violence highlight the chief areas of improvement.  Now, the key to realizing the principles of democracy throughout elections and campaigns lies with independent electoral commissions and observer bodies that ensure transparency and accountability can trump the forces of oppression.

Some of our member parties like the Civic United Front (Tanzania), Rassemblement des Républicains (Cote d’Ivoire), Alliance National des Démocrates pour la Reconstruction (DRC) are most probably going to be facing elections this year under particularly difficult circumstances.  There are signs that a strained environment might mark the electoral processes in these countries. Consequently, there is a need for the political and civic actors in these countries and their international partners to ensure that the electoral process is peaceful, inclusive, and democratic.

The best way to guarantee this and foster democracy is to enhance the role of independent electoral commissions in the preparations and organisation of elections.

By Erin Smith and Nelson Muffuh

 

 

The Quest for Peace in Cote d’Ivoire

The main political factions in Cote d’Ivoire agreed on the 29th of June 2005 to kick-start a much-delayed process of disarmament and reaffirmed a commitment to hold presidential elections on 30 October.

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Towards Elections or Chaos in DRC?

La situation politique en RDC reste préoccupante suite à la crise politique provoquée par les partis politiques qui ont refusé de siéger dans les institutions de la transition.

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Liberalism and Plans for Africa’s Development

Recent attempts to address poverty in Africa, such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), have taken on the form of partnerships between African nations and the developed world. Similar initiatives have followed, the most recent of which is British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa. Yet for all their good intentions, most of these proposals are still struggling to get off the ground.

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ALN Newsletter—October 2003 Issue

ALN Newsletter—October 2003 Issue

The first meeting of the international representatives of the Africa Liberal Network took place on 12th – 15th June, 2003 in the Sandton Park Plaza Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa. The meeting was well attended, with delegates from almost all member parties: the PDS in Senegal, the RDR in Cote d’Ivoire, CUF in Tanzania, the UC in Morocco, the PSL in Tunisia, the UPND in Zambia, the SNP in the Seychelles, UDF in Malawi, the UDP in Tanzania, the DA in South Africa, MFM in Madagascar, the PLD in Angola and ANADER in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Observers also attended from Liberal International, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, and the National Democratic Institute.

The meeting was a great success. The founding principles of the Africa Liberal Network were set out in the Johannesburg Declaration, which appears on the next page, and a statement of support was issued for the MDC of Zimbabwe, who were unable to attend the event.

Welcome to the second edition of the Africa Liberal Network newsletter. There has been great progress since the time the last newsletter came out, and we should all be proud of the way our network is progressing. The meeting of party international representatives was a great success, and resulted in both a declaration of the founding principles of the ALN (The Johannesburg Declaration) which can be found on page 3, and a statement of support for the MDC of Zimbabwe who were unfortunately unable to attend the meeting due to the worsening situation in their country. This statement is on page 4 of the newsletter.

The next ALN meeting is the meeting of party leaders, which takes place in Dakar Senegal on 22nd October 2003, and is generously hosted by a great liberal leader, President Wade. This event coincides with the Liberal International Congress, which takes place for the first time in Africa. It is therefore fitting that the Africa Liberal Network should be applying for the status of co-operating organisation at this Congress, contributing to Liberal International’s growing strength in Africa.

The network is starting to attract new parties, some of whom will be attending the Dakar leaders’ meeting as guests, where they will be able to meet current member parties and see the network in action!

A series of future activities are planned for the ALN, starting with a training workshop to take place in winter 2003. The topic for this workshop will be decided in consultation with member parties during the meeting in Dakar.

Last but not least, the ALN will soon have its own website. The domain name has been chosen and reserved as www.africaliberals.org, and work has started on preparing the first pages. There will be links to member party websites, the history and principles of the ALN and details of future and past activities, so please keep us informed of what your party is doing, so that this information can be included.

I look forward to seeing you in Dakar, and continuing the good work!

 

ALN Newsletter—May 2003 Issue

ALN Newsletter—May 2003 Issue

Welcome to the first edition of the Africa Liberal Network (ALN) newsletter.  The Africa Liberal Network is a loose affiliation of liberal democratic African political parties, which was initiated at the Liberal Summer School, held in Mombasa, Kenya, in July 2001.

The purpose of the ALN is to facilitate communication and co-operation between like-minded liberal democratic political parties in Africa.  This will be done through the regular circulation of this newsletter containing news on all member parties and their countries.  The ALN will also be organising meetings and workshops on specific issues of interest to member parties, as well as raising the profile of liberal parties in Africa in the local and international media.

Membership of the ALN is determined by the party’s status in the parent organisation, Liberal International.  The present member parties of the ALN (in alphabetical country order) are:
Members

Full Members

Partido Liberal Democratico (Angola) http://www2.ebonet.net/pld/

Union Democratica Nacional (UDENA) (Equatorial Guinea) (No party website)

United Democratic Front (Malawi) http://www.udfparty.com/

Parti Démocratique Sénégalais (Senegal) http://www.sopionline.com/

Democratic Alliance (South Africa) http://www.da.org.za

Observers

Alliance Nationale des Democrates pour la Reconstruction (ANADER) (DRC) (No party website)

Rassemblement des Republicains (Cote d’Ivoire) http://www.rdrci.org/

Mouvement pour le Progres de Magagascar (MFM) (Madagascar) (No party website)

Mouvement Populaire (Morocco) (No party website)

Union Constitutionelle (Morocco) (No party website)

Seychelles National Party (Seychelles) http://www.seychelles.net/snp/

Civic United Front (Tanzania) http://www.cuftz.org/
United Democratic Party (Tanzania) (No party website)

Parti Social Liberal (Tunisia) (No party website)

Contacts

United Party for National Development (Zambia) http://www.upnd.org/
Movement for Democratic Change (Zimbabwe) http://www.mdczimbabwe.com

Potential New Contacts

The ALN is also open to new parties who fit the criteria.  To find out more about potential new member parties, please see the dedicated section at the end of the newsletter.

This newsletter will be a monthly publication, and will be circulated to all member parties.  If you wish to submit an article concerning your party, country, or an issue of interest to ALN members, please contact Ellen Kelly at the address given in the Feedback section.