Category: ALN Statements & Resolutions

ALN Statements & Resolutions

KENYAN ELECTIONS: ALN WISHES ODM LUCK AND CALLS FOR A PEACEFUL VOTING DAY

STATEMENT OF THE AFRICA LIBERAL NETWORK

Note to editors:
The Africa Liberal Network is Africa’s largest political affiliation, consisting of 45 member parties from over 25 countries. 
 
The largest political affiliation in Africa, the Africa Liberal Network, wishes every success to its Kenyan sister party, the Orange Democratic Movement, in the upcoming elections on 8 August. The ODM will be partaking in the election under the banner of presidential candidate, Raila Amolo Odinga.
As a long-time member of the ALN, the ODM is well-positioned to govern the best interests of all Kenyans. With the party’s strong record of liberal democracy, gender equality, and sound policies, the ALN urges all Kenyans to support ODM candidates across the country. The ALN embarked on an ambitious journey with the ODM in 2016 when it sought to support the growth and development of the party in order to win elections and go on to form a liberal government. The ALN’s Campaign and Organisational Development (COD) Unit supported the ODM in the run-up to polling day. Campaign experts, strategists, researchers and other election professionals was brought in by the ALN and its partners to develop the ODM’s ability to maximise its performance in the Kenyan parliamentary elections. Particular attention was paid to facilitating and supporting the participation of 15 aspiring women candidates in Kenyan politics. Workshops consisted of a range of sessions designed to develop and support the participants in various aspects of Kenyan political life by combining training sessions with the real-life experiences of other female politicians. A final training session in May 2017 focused on a particular candidate, Rahab Robi, and her campaign in her constituency in Migori county. With its strong manifesto for positive change, the ALN firmly believes that the ODM provides the solutions to the challenges faced by Kenyans, regardless of their ethnicity, race, gender, language or any other factor used for division by the party’s detractors.
The ALN calls on the Kenyan government to ensure that the upcoming elections will take place freely and fairly, allowing every Kenyan voter to cast their vote safely. Candidates are encouraged to denounce electoral violence, follow the electoral code of conduct and accept the results of the election unconditionally. The network takes note of worrying reports of violence and intimidation following the abduction, torture and murder of a high-level official of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Christopher Chege Msando. He was one of a small number of officials who had access to the electoral commission’s computer system passwords and had knowledge of location of the servers that will be used in the upcoming elections. Similarly, there have been reports of foreigners working with the opposition being deported ahead of the elections. They were arrested, manhandled by police and had their computers confiscated, where after they were asked to leave the country. A raid on the office of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition on 4 August is also cause for concern. It was reported that 30 armed men, said to be police, entered the offices of the opposition coalition led by Odinga, confiscated equipment, computers and cameras, and took photos of staff’s identity documents. The ALN condemns any form of intimidation and violence and urges the Kenyan government, political parties and Kenyans to maintain peace and let the election take its course calmly, in order to avoid deaths and conflict as was the case in the 2007 elections when more than 1 000 people were killed and 500 000 people were internally displaced.
Irrespective of the outcome, the ALN will continue to support its sister-parties in fostering liberal values, not only in Kenya, but also across the continent. The Africa Liberal Network looks forward to continuing to build its relationship with the ODM, and looks forward to sharing its successes across the continent.
 
Media enquiries:
Zanie Ferreira (ALN Coordinator)
zanie.maree@africaliberalnetwork.org
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ALN Statements & Resolutions

ALN WISHES SISTER-PARTIES LUCK IN UPCOMING SENEGALESE ELECTIONS

STATEMENT REGARDING UPCOMING SENEGALESE ELECTIONS

The largest political affiliation in Africa, the Africa Liberal Network, wishes every success to its Senegalese member parties, in the upcoming parliamentary elections on 30 July. Four full ALN member parties (APR-Yaakaar, PDS, PLC/DJ and Rewmi) will be partaking in the first parliamentary elections since 2007, which saw a coalition formed by the PDS to win the majority of the seats.
The ALN believes that these parties are all committed to seeing a better future for every Senegalese citizen, based on the rule of law, the protection of human rights and sound government policies. The ALN trusts that the upcoming elections will take place freely and fairly, allowing every Senegalese voter to cast their vote safely. Irrespective of the outcome, the ALN will continue to support its sister-parties in fostering liberal values, not only in Senegal, but also across the continent.
Media enquiries:
Zanie Ferreira (ALN Coordinator)
zanie.maree@africaliberalnetwork.org
senegalese elections

ALN Statements & Resolutions

STATE OF EMERGENCY IN ZAMBIA AN ATTACK ON DEMOCRACY

STATEMENT OF THE AFRICA LIBERAL NETWORK

STEVENS MOKGALAPA MP, ALN PRESIDENT

 

Note to editors:

The Africa Liberal Network is Africa’s largest political affiliation, consisting of 45 member parties from over 25 countries. The following statement and remarks are provided by the newly-elected ALN President, Stevens Mokgalapa MP, the South African Shadow Minister for International Relations and Co-operation (Democratic Alliance).

The Africa Liberal Network condemns in the strongest possible terms, the approval by the Zambian government to extend the state of emergency in the country by a further 90 days. This comes short on the heels of the arrest of leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), a full member of the ALN and Zambia’s largest opposition party, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, on charges of treason. The extended security measures decreed by President Edgar Lungu is nothing short of an attempt to stifle opposition to his government and cement his grip on power. The additional three-month period will place unlimited power in the President and security forces’ hands, which may be used to intimidate and threaten opposition parties and citizens alike. These measures include the prohibition of public meetings, the closure of roads, imposed curfews and restricted movements, all to be enforced by security forces.

Zambia, once a stellar example of a democracy in Africa, has recently been on a decline due to reports of human rights abuses as well as the erosion of political freedom. During the August 2016 elections, the governing party, the Patriotic Front (PF), was involved in the manipulation of votes and unlawful arrests of and violence against UPND members have been commonplace. This state of emergency sees the extension of such abuses of power by President Lungu and the PF.

The ALN lends full support to its sister-party in Zambia and calls for regional bodies such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU) to break their silence in light of the above events. As President of Africa’s largest political affiliation, I implore representatives and our member parties to uphold liberal values in securing the safety and freedom of all Zambians. The Democratic Alliance, ALN full-member in South Africa, has shown solidarity with the party leader, Mmusi Maimane MP, attempting a visit to Zambia, where he was unlawfully denied entry by border police. Furthermore, I have escalated this matter to our colleagues at Liberal International and their Human Rights Committee.

The ALN will continue to work tirelessly for the promotion of liberal values on the continent in order to achieve a better future for all Africans, based on the rule of law, freedom of expression and the entrenchment of human rights.

Media enquiries:
Zanie Ferreira (ALN Coordinator)
zanie.maree@africaliberalnetwork.org

ALN Statements & Resolutions

Liberal support abroad: ALN wishes the UK Liberal Democrats success

Statement of the Africa Liberal Network

Stevens Mokgalapa MP, ALN President

 
Note to editors:
The Africa Liberal Network is Africa’s largest political affiliation, consisting of 45 member parties from over 25 countries. The following statement and remarks are provided by the newly-elected ALN President, Stevens Mokgalapa MP, the South African Shadow Minister for International Relations and Co-operation (Democratic Alliance).
 

The Africa Liberal Network stands in support of its long-time partners and friends at the UK  Liberal Democrats  ahead of the general election set for June 8th 2017. This historic election presents a clear choice to British voters: to be a great friend of democracy and peace in the world, or to retreat into isolationism.
 
As Africa’s largest political affiliation, it is our view that the Liberal Democrats are the only party to standing for a united, open, and tolerant Great Britain. We share many values and principles with the party, including its position on Brexit, and uphold that it is these ideals which will serve the British public best in uncertain times.
 
The ALN also congratulates the LibDems on their surge in membership and recent wins in several by-elections across the country. Over 50,000 new members have joined the party since the European referendum. Increasingly, the British public are vocally and actively working against the hard Brexit pursued by the Conservatives and Labour parties.
 
“In a world where liberalism is under threat with the rising tide of populism, we must never fail to show support for our friends not only at home, but also abroad. We have a shared, global future, and together we must work to secure prosperity for all,” says ALN President  Stevens Mokgalapa  MP.
 
The network wishes the greatest of success to the Liberal Democrats, led by Tim Farron MP, and stands ready to support the LibDems in the name of freedom, liberalism, and democracy.
 
Media enquiries:
Luke Akal (ALN Coordinator)
+27 (0)81 4813754
luke.akal@africaliberalnetwork.org
ALN Statements & Resolutions

Liberal solidarity across continents: Statement of the ALN in support of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD)

ALN-CALD-LPStatement of the Africa Liberal Network Executive Committee

Note to editors:
The Africa Liberal Network is Africa’s largest political affiliation, consisting of 45 member parties from over 25 countries. The following statement is made by the network’s Executive Committee in solidarity with the ALN’s sister-network in Asia, the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats.

Liberal solidarity across continents
 
The challenge to liberalism around the globe is clear, and unfortunately is most evident in the Philippines. While it is continents apart from our region, the Africa Liberal Network (ALN) is compelled to contribute its voice to the growing concern to what our allies in the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) call “creeping authoritarianism” in the Philippines.
 
ALN echoes the statement of Liberal International when it said that the Philippines “is turning rapidly into an illiberal state.” The death toll resulting from the government’s war on drugs continues to escalate, and critics of the anti-drug campaign are callously silenced. The reinstatement of capital punishment is a legislative priority in Congress, and the proposal to lower the age of criminal liability from 15 to 9 years old is similarly pushed by the country’s present administration.
 
But the truth must stand.
 
The truth is corruption is what is a root cause of major socio-political issues in the Philippines. The government’s disregard of human rights and rule of law debase not only the nation’s coffers, but also its people’s dignity. 
 
We urge the Duterte Administration to confront the real issue facing the Philippine society: poverty. We call the country’s leaders to instead provide more opportunities so that people may find jobs, and live the life that they intend where they can contribute meaningfully to society. We appeal that respect for human rights and rule of law become the pillars of governance so citizens can have an equal chance in fulfilling their own destiny. We ask the government to face these glaring truths:
 
That it cannot win its war on drugs if it does not address poverty;
That political persecution backfires when based on repetitive lies;
That capital punishment is outdated, ineffective, and especially inhumane; and 
That lowering the age of criminal responsibility reflects a perverted sense of justice.
 
We also urge organisations worldwide that believe in democracy to call out populists and tyrants, to speak truth to power. International solidarity in defence of freedom is imperative. We stand together with our liberal friends at the forefront.
 
Media enquiries:
Luke Akal (ALN Coordinator)
+27 (0)81 4813754
luke.akal@africaliberalnetwork.org
ALN Statements & Resolutions

Arrest of Zambian opposition leader is an unacceptable, intolerable political manoeuvre by the Lungu government

Statement of the Africa Liberal Network

Stevens Mokgalapa MP, ALN President

 
Note to editors:
The Africa Liberal Network is Africa’s largest political affiliation, consisting of 45 member parties from over 25 countries. The following statement and remarks are provided by the newly-elected ALN President, Stevens Mokgalapa MP, the South African Shadow Minister for International Relations and Co-operation (Democratic Alliance).
 
The Africa Liberal Network (ALN) condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent arrest of the Zambian opposition leader, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, on charges of treason. This is the latest development in the ruling party’s attempts to silence dissent and opposition.
Hichilema, the leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), a full member of the ALN and Zambia’s largest opposition party, was arrested in his home in Lusaka. Zambian police reportedly raided his home during the night, breaking down doors and tear-gassing the house. Mr Hichilema’s attorney states that he has been detained for committing treason by obstructing a motorcade of President Edgar Lungu. Treason is an unbailable offence in the country and carries a minimum jail term of 15 years and a maximum sentence of the death penalty.
ALN President Stevens Mokgalapa MP comments:
“We urge the Zambian government to respect due process, the rule of law, and to immediately cease all arbitrary arrests of its political opponents. It is unacceptable for the governing party in a constitutional democracy such as Zambia to allow for politically-motivated issues such as this to occur.
As President of Africa’s largest political affiliation, I will encourage representatives and our member parties to submit questions to their respective national legislatures and other structures concerning this alarming matter. We will explore potential options to add pressure to President Lungu’s government and request satisfactory clarity.”
According to the opposition leader’s representatives, Mr Hichilema will take legal action to challenge the police action, the brutality of which left Mr Hichilema and his wife unwell.
This event follows previous unacceptable actions by the Zambian governing party, the Patriotic Front (PF). Manipulation of the voting, counting, and other mechanisms in favour of the PF was pervasive in the August 2016 elections, and legal challenges of the elections by the UPND have been blocked. Mr Hichilema and UPND vice-president Geoffrey Mwamba have also been previously arrested for unlawful assembly and sedition. PF supporters have on several occasions committed acts of political violence such as attacking UPND supporters and vandalising UPND property.
 
Media enquiries:
Luke Akal (ALN Coordinator)
+27 (0)81 4813754
luke.akal@africaliberalnetwork.org
 

ALN Statements & Resolutions

Africa Liberal Network takes a strong stand against gender-based violence

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At the 13th Annual Africa Liberal Network (ALN) General Assembly, Africa’s largest political network adopted the flagship Nairobi Declaration condemning the common practice of violence against women on the continent and committing the Network’s members to working stringently to eliminate gender-based violence in their home countries.

The full Declaration can be found HERE.

Acknowledging that violence against women remains one of the most widespread forms of human rights violations, the ALN has committed to working with their partners in Liberal International (LI) and liberal parties across the world, in opposition and in government, to condemn and eliminate gender-based violence.
The Network’s members agreed to promote and, where in government, implement policies to secure women’s access to education – the single most effective method of empowerment – as well as working with judicial branches and police forces to ensure the effective protection of women from acts of violence.
The declaration also commits ALN members to working to bring more women into public life and politics, believing strongly that we can only eliminate violence against women when women are comfortable taking over leadership roles.
The Nairobi Declaration comes at a particularly poignant moment as this year’s host party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) faces parliamentary and presidential elections later this year. In Kenya, women often face intimidation during elections and there have been widespread incidents of physical and verbal intimidation against female candidates at party primaries and during campaigning in the past. Working with the UK Liberal Democrats, the ALN has been running a campaign of support for women running on the ODM ticket in the upcoming elections. This began with a workshop in February 2017 for twenty outstanding women running in the party’s internal primaries to represent ODM in key seats in the August election.
Rosemary Machua, ALN Vice President for East Africa and a Director of the ODM, said:
“African politics remains overwhelmingly the work of men. Women continue to face hurdles when engaging the democratic process, from their families, their communities and from the men at the top of the political tree.
“I am delighted that the ALN has acknowledged the unique challenges women face and the horrifying prevalence of gender-based violence. I look forward to working with the member parties on exposing violence in their home countries and supporting more women to enter into public life.”

Stevens Mokgalapa MP, newly-elected ALN President and DA Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation in South Africa, said:
“I am proud that my first action as President is to endorse this declaration which commits the Network to taking the serious problem of violence against women – in all its forms – head on. It is unacceptable for liberals to stand by while over half of the population still suffers from discrimination and, in many cases, violence.
The ALN pledges today to work on ourselves, by striving to bring in more women into our own processes, whilst strongly, passionately, and loudly protesting poor treatment of women across the African continent.”
Markus Loening, Chairman of the Liberal International (LI) Human Rights Committee and LI Vice-President, said:
“This fundamental document represents an important step towards the empowerment of women and it testifies to the ongoing commitment by the African liberal family to gender equality.
“As we look forward to strengthen the cooperation between Liberal International (LI), its Human Rights Committee and the Africa Liberal Network, I sincerely hope that this Declaration will serve to solidify the efforts of liberals to speak with one voice when it comes to promotion and advancement of human rights.”
The ALN General Assembly met in Nairobi, Kenya from 23-24 March 2017. Delegates from over 40 liberal parties from across the continent met to discuss the major issues facing their countries and the wider continent and to share their experiences of campaigning, governing and scrutinising governments in Africa.

ALN Statements & Resolutions

ALN condemns AU's ICC-exit strategy

 
Statement of the Africa Liberal Network
Stevens Mokgalapa MP, ALN Southern Africa Vice President
The Africa Liberal Network is alarmed by the proposed collective withdrawal by member states from the International Criminal Court (ICC) . This strategy was yesterday put forward and adopted by the African Union at its summit in Ethiopia.
Although a non-binding decision, the strategy adopted by the AU membership flies in the face of a democratic, human rights agenda, including the Right to Protect imperative. The withdrawal serves no justice to Africa and its peoples, except to cover up the atrocities committed by illiberal, antidemocratic dictators and despots. Clearly, important lessons have not been learned from tragedies in Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, and elsewhere.
ALN President Olivier Kamitatu, a leading figure of the G7 opposition movement  in the DR Congo, implores:
“We urge all AU states to reconsider and ultimately reject any strategy of leaving the ICC. The ICC’s role should be reinforced, reinvigorated and mandated to serve the interests of the defenseless. Instead of an ICC-exit, let us together work to ensure the institution becomes more effective and efficient for the cause of justice.”
We applaud the dissenting voices of certain African countries, including Senegal, which have spoken in favour of remaining in and building up the ICC as a credible, reliable human rights institution. The Senegalese government is led by President Macky Sall and his APR-Yakaar party, a member of the ALN.
In South Africa, the network also applauds the persistent efforts of our full-member, the Democratic Alliance (official opposition). The DA continues to pursue legal means to ensure that the country’s national government – led by the African National Congress – faces the necessary consequences for its unwillingness to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir whilst he was on South African soil.
The African Union ought to be standing up for the human rights of all. The AU must work towards strengthening institutions which would protect our peoples, especially when their own governments fail to do so.
Media enquiries:
Luke Akal (ALN Coordinator)
+27 (0)81 4813754

ALN Statements & Resolutions

ALN applauds efforts of ECOWAS in Gambia

Statement of the Africa Liberal Network
William Tucker, ALN West Africa Vice President
The Africa Liberal Network, the continent’s largest political affiliation, applauds the outstanding efforts of ECOWAS in Gambia. The Economic Community of West African States has today given former authoritarian leader, Yahya Jammeh, until noon Gambia-time to give up power.
This follows a march by ECOWAS troops across the border into Gambia, where the troops were met with zero resistance from local forces. The Chief of the Armed Forces of Gambia has himself said that he does not wish to be involved in any political misconduct. Meanwhile, duly-elected President Adama Barrow was sworn in yesterday at the Gambian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. The embassy constitutes Gambian territory, thus making Barrow’s swearing-in compliant with the country’s laws.
The ALN joins the global call for a peaceful transition of power in Gambia. Upholding constitutionalism, due process, and the rule of law as fundamental tenets of liberal democracy, these principles which can form a foundation for a future prosperous, progressive Gambia.
We also applaud the work of the ALN’s member party in Senegal, the Alliance Pour la République (APR-Yakaar), and President Macky Sall‘s government in the crucial role they have played in protecting the validity of Gambians’ democratic choices. The United Nations and the African Union have supported the work of ECOWAS, reminding us that there must remain space for regional and global cooperation, including the Right to Protect.
Jammeh is now increasingly isolated. With defections from within his cabinet and that of his vice president, Jammeh faces impossible pressure both regionally and globally. Jammeh has previously during his presidency implemented authoritarian policies and provided empty, populist promises at the expense of Gambian citizens. Many have regarded him as an autocratic, violent dictator.
The former president’s human rights record is severely abysmal. Human Rights Watch lists arbitrary detention, torture, forced disappearances and gross injustices as part of Jammeh’s despotic reign in Gambia. Jammeh held particular draconian disdain for journalists, opposition politicians, and LGBT activists.
The ALN looks forward to the dawn of a new chapter in a tolerant, open, united Gambia.
Media enquiries:
Luke Akal (ALN Coordinator)
+27 (0)81 481 3754
 

 

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