ALN MONITORING ALLEGED COUP IN ZIMBABWE

The largest political affiliation in Africa, the Africa Liberal Network, takes note of the unfolding events in Zimbabwe. On 14 November 2017 the Zimbabwean military took control of the country and state media, announcing it was targeting “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe shortly after Mugabe fired his Vice-President‚ Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa was set to compete for the top ZANU-PF leadership spot against President Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe. In a move that the armed forces have denied as a military coup, Mugabe and his family were placed under house arrest while talks have risen about a potential transitional government, easing him out of his longstanding term in office. At the age of 93, President Mugabe has been at the helm of a struggling country for far too long and the opportunity is ripe for Zimbabwe to transition into a stable, democratic country. We urge the President to step aside peacefully and allow for free and fair elections to take place.

These recent events show the big divide in the ruling party. We encourage and support our liberal friends and opposition parties in Zimbabwe to stand for the values we hold dear: constitutionalism, transparency, rule of law, multiparty democracy and peace. We implore Zimbabweans to remain calm and show non-violent restraint during this time. The ALN is monitoring the situation closely and offer our unwavering support to those who are fighting for a better, democratic Zimbabwe.

Media enquiries:

Zanie Ferreira (ALN Coordinator)

zanie.maree@africaliberalnetwork.org

alleged coup

 

 

 

 

Statement: ALN condemns pre-election violence in South Africa

Africa Liberal Network media statement by

Stevens Mokgalapa (MP)

Africa Liberal Network Vice President (Southern Africa)

ALN condemns pre-election violence in South Africa

27 October 2015

Release: immediate

The Africa Liberal Network (ALN), the largest political network on the continent consisting of 44 political parties in 30 states, expresses grave concern over reports that our South African member party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has faced intimidation and violent attacks against its supporters, members and staff in the country’s capital.

We condemn any actions by the ruling party involving alleged theft and destruction of property. It has come to our attention that the African National Congress (ANC) organised attacks against DA supporters during the preparation of the DA’s campaign launch in Tshwane (Pretoria).

The ALN is especially concerned that anti-DA forces physically attacked the party’s members, throwing bricks and rocks at them. We are aware of an incident in which a group of ANC supporters sprayed a fire extinguisher in a kiosk in which DA activists were hiding.

As per our resolution taken at Ouagadougou (2014), the ALN is also committed to the peaceful, democratic transition of power as well as an environment conducive to free and fair elections. To this end, the ALN affirms its support and solidarity with the Democratic Alliance. Additionally, we encourage the DA in its efforts to take the appropriate legal steps and actions with the Independent Electoral Commission and other relevant South African authorities.

Our thoughts are with the innocent DA activists who were injured. We call on the governing authorities to follow due procedure and the South African Constitution. The ALN will continue to monitor the situation and gather support through our international networks if necessary.

 

Media enquiries:

Stevens Mokgalapa (MP)

Africa Liberal Network Vice President (Southern Africa Africa region)

+27 83 275 1779

Luke Akal

+27 81 481 3754

ALN Coordinator

 

 

ALN Executive Committee (ALN ExCom) meets in Nairobi

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The ALN Executive Committee (ALN ExCom) met in Nairobi from 3 – 6 September to discuss a range of important issues for the network including the upcoming General Assembly. In attendance were ALN President Olivier Kamitatu, Vice President for Central Africa Medard Mulangala, VP for East Africa Rosemary Machua and VP for Southern Africa Stevens Mokgalapa, Iain Gill from the Liberal Democrats and Hubertus von Welck of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. The ExCom was hosted by Rosemary Machua and the Orange Democratic Movement, the main opposition party in Kenya and a key member of the ALN. After two full days of productive meetings, the ALN ExCom held a press conference attended by wide range of media including Aljazeera and the Kenyan Broadcasting Cooperation.

Executive Committee to meet in Abidjan from 25 – 27 February 2015

The newly elected Executive Committee is pleased to announce that they will be holding their first meeting of the year in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, from 25 – 27 2015. As well as discussing the strategic plan for the Network for 2015-2016, the Executive will participate in a number of high level meetings with colleagues from the local member party, Rassemblements Des Republicains (RDR).

 

 

Resolutions taken at the 2014 ALN General Assembly

WEST AFRICA

SENEGAL

  1. The ALN is concerned about the freedom and human rights situation in Senegal. It supports all political and civil society organisations working towards the principle of and respect for the separation of powers and independence of the judiciary.
  2. The ALN condemns any form of manipulation of justice and the setting up of exceptional (emergency/special) courts. At the same time, the ALN denounces the failure of the Senegal government to respect the decision of the ECOWAS Court of Justice in the case between the State of Senegal and certain liberal senior political leaders banned from leaving the country.

MALI

  1. The ALN supports the resolutions of the United Nations, the African Union and ECOWAS in favour of the non-partition of Mali.
  2. The ALN calls upon armed groups to lay down their arms.
  3. The ALN denounces and condemns all forms of terrorism in Northern Mali.
  4. The ALN encourages and supports the negotiations underway in Algeria with the support of the international community.

BURKINA FASO

With respect to Burkina Faso, the Africa Liberal Network states that:

  1. The Network has never supported the constitutional amendments recently proposed in Burkina Faso in order to extend the number of terms of former president Compaoré.
  2. The Network urges the transitional movement to restore the rule of law in Burkina Faso, and to organise elections within 12 months.
  3. The Network rejects any form of violence perpetrated against any individuals in Burkina Faso, and upholds the right to conduct peaceful protests.
  4. The Network calls on all individuals and political parties to ensure that there are free and fair elections held in an open and competitive environment.

CENTRAL AFRICA DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

–          Given the resolution taken in Kinshasa by the Africa Liberal Network in 2011, in the context of the Senegalese crisis, to launch an appeal to President Abdoulaye WADE not to run for a third term of office;

–          Given the resolution taken by the Africa Liberal Network in Ouagadougou on 14 March 2014 on the issue of democratic governance in Africa: reflections on democratic transition and the changeover of power; In the light of the foregoing the Africa Liberal Network:

  1. urges the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the members of the National Assembly not to review the inviolable articles of the Constitution born of the popular referendum of 2006;
  2. the Africa Liberal Network encourages the Congolese government to preserve the democratic gains and progress achieved, guaranteeing sustainable peace for the integral development of the DRC.
  3. The Network urges the Government of Congo and MONUSCO to take action to end the massacres occurring in the East of the country.

  BURUNDI

  1. The Network expresses deep concern about the safety of political leaders in Burundi.
  2. We urge all political stakeholders to ensure there is a peaceful electoral process in Burundi.

EAST AFRICA

SUDAN

Taking into consideration the complexity of the situation in Sudan and the need for a peaceful transformation in the country from a one party system to a multi-party democracy, the Africa Liberal Network:

  1. Urges the Sudanese parties to end all armed conflicts and declare a permanent ceasefire in the war zones;
  2. Urges the Sudanese government to release all political detainees and prisoners and guarantee the basic freedoms of speech, association and political activity;
  3. Calls for a democratic, fair and peaceful elections in which all parties have the same chances and opportunities;
  4. Endorses the efforts of liberal parties in Sudan to contest elections under a unified presidential candidate;
  5. Calls for the involvement of the international community in the elections in support of a peaceful and fair process.

 

SOUTHERN AFRICA

MADAGASCAR

  1. The ALN congratulates Madagascar on the successful holding of its elections and encourages the process set in motion to bring an end to the crisis.

  AFRICA AS WHOLE

  1. The ALN is concerned by the health situation prevailing in certain African countries faced with the Ebola epidemic. It expresses its solidarity with the people and hopes that this disease will be swiftly eradicated in all the countries concerned thanks to the efforts currently underway with the support of the international community, which it welcomes.
  2. With regard to forthcoming elections, the ALN called for vigilance by the international community and all friends of Africa, particularly in deploying a maximum number of electoral observers in order to ensure that the electoral process is not marred by any irregularity and that the voting process is sincere, peaceful and credible.
  3. The ALN urges member parties to promote consultation and dialogue between liberals within the same country with a view to defining common strategies to win and exercise state power.
  4. The ALN calls on liberal parties to draw inspiration from African success stories with regard to the process of gaining and exercising state power, in particular in Côte d’Ivoire and in the province of the Western Cape in South Africa, in order to define and implement liberal good governance policies, the guarantors of stability and prosperity.
  5. The Africa Liberal Network endorses all of the Network’s members that are contesting elections in 2015 in their respective countries and wishes them luck for their campaigns.
  6. The Network calls for the oversight of the international community to ensure all elections held across Africa in 2015 are open, free and fair.  

SPECIAL RESOLUTION ON GOMOLEMO MOTSWALEDI

The Africa Liberal Network notes with immense sadness the tragic passing away in August 2014 of Gomolemo Motswaledi, the ALN Vice President for Southern Africa, who was also the President of the Botswana Movement for Democracy. We recognise Gomolemo as a political leader who worked tirelessly to advance his vision of a Botswana and Africa in which every person is free and equal and able to live the life they choose. His loss is a deep one for his family, party, Botswana, Africa and indeed the world.

The General Assembly hereby resolves:

  1. To recognise with gratitude and honour the role that Gomolemo played in the Africa Liberal Network as its Vice President for Southern Africa.
  2. To recognise the central role that Gomolemo played in historically uniting the opposition in Botswana to form the Umbrella for Democratic Change.
  3. To congratulate the Umbrella for Democratic Change on winning 17 parliamentary seats in the October 2014 election and the party’s new status as the official opposition in Botswana.
  4. The Network will introduce a special annual prize named the Gomolemo Motswaledi award that will be given to an exceptional young liberal leader in Africa by agreement of the General Assembly.

The Marrakech Declaration on Human Rights

DECLARATION TAKEN AT THE 2014 ALN GENERAL ASSEMBLY DECLARATION ADOPTEE LORS DE L’ASSEMBLEE GENERALE   The Marrakech Declaration on Human Rights We, the ALN member parties, understanding that human rights relate not just to equality and the rule of law, but also to health, education and the economy, hereby set out the ALN Human Rights Framework. Building on the Charter de Mandi, 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights (1987), and on the principles set out in the ALN Liberal Manifesto for Africa, we commit to work for the adoption and full implementation by every country in Africa of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966). We undertake to adopt these principles throughout our internal party structures. In particular, we give the highest priority to safeguarding and encouraging the rights of women and youth to equality of access and participation in all aspects of our party and wider society. The member parties of the ALN undertake to work with civil society to secure the adoption of these principles by all state institutions across Africa. In particular we identify the following as key priorities for political action:

  1. Ensuring the constitutional independence of the judiciary and building a legal system which embeds the principles of equality before the law. Where the existing rule of law perpetuates discrimination and human rights abuses, it must be actively challenged.
  2. Ensuring the right to personal security and freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention without trial, torture and the death penalty, and the right to a fair trial.
  3. Ensuring constitutional protection for the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly, freedom of movement, and participation in the full conduct of public affairs and access to public services.
  4. Understanding that education is the route to raising awareness of civil and human rights, and to developing the skills needed for employment, developing the skills and opportunities of the next generation. We will work towards the universal compulsory introduction of free primary and secondary education for every girl and boy in Africa
  5. Understanding that economic growth and development creates the foundation for good health and education services. We will work to ensure that everyone has the right to fair and safe working conditions in a prospering society, and accelerate progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals set out at the Rio+20 Conference in 2012. We will continue to work towards eliminating extreme poverty, reducing infant mortality and halting the spread of various diseases.
  6. Ensuring the implementation and application of laws to uphold equal rights for women, girls and youth, and to prevent the practices of female genital mutilation and forced and underage marriage in particular. We will work to combine legislative action with an educational programme for both children and the general public to raise awareness of these issues, particularly in rural areas.
  7. Ensuring the implementation and application of laws upholding civil liberties, including freedom of speech, conscience, belief and worship.
  8. Ensuring the implementation and application of laws ensuring equal rights before the law and preventing discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, age, gender, sexuality or disability.
  9. Ensuring the implementation and application of laws designed to prevent human trafficking, sex trafficking and ensuring an end to the recruitment and use of child soldiers and forced and bonded labour. The ALN member parties are committed to adopting measures to end these abuses.
  10. Securing the recognition and application of private property rights as set out in the ALN Liberal Manifesto for Africa and the 2013 Zanzibar Declaration. The ALN recognises property rights as essential to the economic advancement of citizens and the elimination of poverty. The ALN member parties are committed to promoting economic growth, jobs, and regional trade links.
  11. Working to create high standards of governance in governments and institutions, in order to restore public trust in their legitimacy, both domestically and internationally.
  12. Recognising the importance of tackling climate change as an integral part of delivering human rights and equal opportunities for all, and formulating party and government policies to deliver progress on this key issue.

We commit to this ALN Human Rights Framework, and encourage all governments and political parties across the African continent to adopt these principles, and to integrate them into their manifestos as a basis for action(s) to be taken.

ALN celebrates close of historic General Assembly in Marrakech

The Africa Liberal Network (ALN) is pleased to share the outcomes of the 11th annual General Assembly. Hosted in mystic Marrakech from 27-29 November 2014, this was the largest and most ambitious General Assembly in the ALN’s history, with over 90 delegate attending from across the world.

“This year, the ALN accomplished a number of historic firsts including the election of a gender representative executive committee, the adoption of a robust new constitution and the acceptance of 9 new observer member parties, taking the total number of members to the largest in the Network’s history, with 44 parties” stated the ALN President, Olivier Kamitatu, who was re-elected in Marrakech to serve a second 2-year term.

After a full day of contributions from external experts and deliberations by delegates, the General Assembly also crafted a 12 point Human Rights Framework which was adopted by all members present. Aptly named the Marrakech Declaration, the document sets out the liberal perspective on human rights in Africa and commits both the ALN and its 44 members to champion interventions with respect to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child slavery and freedom of political association, among many other human rights issues.

Drafting of the Declaration was facilitated by Rt. Hon. Andrew Stunell MP, Governor of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, who commented:

“Many member parties gave first-hand testimony to the serious lack of basic political and human rights in their own countries.  This land-mark Declaration can now be the reference point for future action and campaigning for justice for all, regardless of status or power.”

Most notably, the declaration commits all members to actively challenge discrimination on any grounds including gender, sexuality, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, age or disability. This is the first declaration of its kind in Africa that commits contemporary political parties to fight discrimination in such a broad manner, particularly with respect to sexual orientation.

The 2014 General Assembly also presented an opportunity to share best practice with fellow liberals from the Arab Alliance for Freedom and Democracy, with whom the ALN signed a cooperation agreement with a view to strengthening liberalism across the MENA region.

The Africa Liberal Network would like to convey its sincere thanks to its key partners the UK Liberal Democrats, Westminster Foundation for Democracy and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, without who’s support it would not have been possible to achieve these exceptional outcomes.

Commenting on the event, Iain Gill, the Head of the UK Liberal Democrats International Office stated, “ The UK Liberal Democrats are immensely proud to sponsor the Africa Liberal Network. Over the last five years we have watched it develop exponentially and beyond expectations.  The ALN is now has the largest regional network in the Liberal International family outside of ALDE with a  total membership of 44 parties and we are growing in both quality and quantity. Our 2018 objective  is to surpass the European network and become the dominant force in international liberal politics.”

 

Dates of 2014 ALN General Assembly announced

We are pleased to announce the 2014 ALN General Assembly will take place in Marrakech, Morocco from 27-29 Nov in partnership with the Liberal Democrats. UK. 

This year will see the largest and most ambitious General Assembly in the ALN’s history, with the conference focusing on the theme:

Human Rights, Increasing Participation: Providing a Voice for All

A healthy democracy and a stable political party can only be sustained by citizens who feel the system represents them and treats them fairly. Building a human rights framework and identifying best practice approaches to increase engagement with the political process are the most important roles integral to the political sphere.

The 2014 ALN General Assembly will therefore focus on the crucial themes ‘Human Rights & Increasing Political Participation: Providing a Voice for All’. We will host a series of plenary and breakout sessions dedicated to addressing both human rights and the practical application of involving underrepresented groups in political parties.

The plenary and breakout structure of the conference will be a historic first for the ALN, and will result in the formulation and adoption of a Human Rights Framework for the Network and a set of best practice recommendations for increasing the role of underrepresented groups in political parties.

For more information contact Aimee Franklin on aimee.franklin@africaliberalnetwork.org

ALN launches mentoring programme to support member party communications

The ALN has launched a new peer-to-peer mentoring programme with partner, the Liberal Democrats UK, to support member parties with the development of their party communications operations.

Programme applications have been opened to all 35 member parties of the Africa Liberal Network, with the ALN and Liberal Democrats ultimately planning to select two parties to participate after a competitive application process.

Each party selected will be invited to send two representatives working in communications to the Liberal Democrats Autumn Conference in Glasgow in October, where they will have an opportunity to share experiences with a number of peers from the Liberal Democrats who manage party communications.

The party representatives will then be connected with a peer mentor from the Liberal Democrats, who will work with the sister parties monthly between October 2014 and February 2015 to guide and support them through the development of their party communications operations, either focusing on social media, direct marketing or media relationship management.

It is anticipated that parties that excel in this programme will be selected for further peer to peer development opportunities with the Liberal Democrats in 2015/16.

This current programme follows on from the Liberal Democrats and ALN’s joint work on communications in 2013, through which we jointly produced a guide to best practice in political communications that was distributed to the broader Liberal International family.

In memory of Gomolemo “Sir G” Motswaledi

On behalf of the ALN Executive Committee and entire ALN family, we are incredibly saddened by the passing away of our Vice President for Southern Africa and President of the Botswana Movement for Democracy, Gomolemo Sir G Motswaledi.

Anyone who met Gomolemo will speak of his power to inspire through melodic words, his smile, as bright and warm as the African sun, and his ability to bring joy to a room with his deep laugh. I considered Gomolemo a friend and mentor and I looked up to him as one of those rare leaders that truly put the interests of his people before his own.

Gomolemo worked tirelessly to advance his vision of a Botswana and Africa in which every person is free and equal and able to live the life they chose. His loss is a deep one for his family, party, Botswana, Africa and indeed the world.

Whilst myself and the many people Gomolemo touched through his work with the Africa Liberal Network are devastated by this unforeseen loss, we are committed to celebrating his life and the immense contribution he made to the advancement of democracy in Africa.

We will intensify our work to ensure we do real justice to Gomolemo’s dream of a free and equal Africa. We promise to make you proud.o

For a link the ALN’s full statement and quotes from other ALN partners, click here.

Aimee Franklin
ALN Coordinator