Party-to-party cooperation funded by the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD)

The Red-Green Alliance has collaborative party-to-party projects in Honduras, Palestine and Swaziland. At the last Annual Meeting we had the honor of welcoming a representative of the Honduran party LIBRE. This year we have a delegation of 6 guests visiting from three Palestinian youth parties, as well as a representative from PUDEMO our partner in Swaziland.

The Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD) was formed in 2010 with the purpose of distributing development funds through party-to-party cooperation and multiparty cooperation. As the only party in the Danish parliament the Red-Green Alliance voted against the establishment of the Institute. But since the formation of DIPD the Red-Green Alliance has participated actively while trying to influence the process and the projects. The Red-Green Alliance participates with the objective of supporting progressive left forces in their struggle for social justice. We have a focus on social movements and parties fighting against dictatorship, occupation, coups and repression. The Red-Green Alliance believes that democracy is about ensuring real influence and participation. A complementary objective is to strengthen solidarity work, and exchange skill and experiences across parties and social movements inside and outside of Denmark. Besides our own projects funded by DIPD, the Red-Green Alliance participates in several other DIPD activities, including projects in Nepal and Egypt, as well as conferences and seminars in Denmark.

SWAZILAND: Strengthening the Capacity of PUDEMO

The Red-Green Alliance has of March 2013 entered into a new partnership with the Swazi political movement the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO). The project aims to increase the capacity of PUDEMO to be a more visible and credible political force within and outside Swaziland. The project focuses on internal capacity building and policy coherence, as well as civic education and mobilisation, both internally and externally.

PUDEMO was formed by a group of intellectuals, students and workers in 1983. It is a political movement based on a variety of Swazi movements and is still today more akin to a broad-based movement than a political party. PUDEMO’s aim is to establish a constitutional multi-party democracy, a transparent and accountable government, an environment conducive to economic growth, and economic empowerment and the development of a culturally vibrant and tolerant society based on maximum participation and respect of the will of the people.

We have the honor of welcoming international secretary Linus Mavimbela as our guest from PUDEMO during the Annual Congress.

PUDEMO project partner detained by police in Swaziland for possession of brochures: Wonder Mkhonza, National Organising Secretary of PUDEMO, was supposed to visit the Red-Green Allinace’s Annual Congress, along with Linus. But on Friday April 12 Wonder was detained, allegedly for being in possession of 5000 PUDEMO pamphlets.

The day Wonder was detained, the democratic movement in Swaziland was marking the 40th anniversary of the state of emergency and banning of all political parties in 1973 by King Sobhuza II. There is reasonable suspicion that Wonder might be tortured whilst detained. Swaziland ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture in 2004. Nevertheless, there have been many reports of torture and beatings by Swazi police, security forces and prison officers, including the death of PUDEMO member Sipho Jele, who was detained for having worn a PUDEMO t-shirt and died in prison under mysterious circumstances.

The Danish solidarity movement Africa Contact has started a campaign in support of Wonder. For more information on the Free Wonder campaign go to www.afrika.dk and iu.enhedslisten.dk

 

PALESTINE: Strengthening the Cooperation of the Progressive Youth in Palestine

The Red-Green Alliance has of March 2013 entered into a new partnership with 3 left wing political parties in the Palestine, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), Palestinian People’s Party (PPP) and Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA). The project aims at developing the relations and cooperation between the parties, through increased cooperation between their youth organizations, and at the same time to further the position of the young members and women in the parties. This with a view to enhance the social and political role of the left and to strengthen democracy in the political life and in the Palestinian society. The project runs throughout 2013 and the activities include seminars, workshops, and campaigns. The objectives are to improve ideological and political knowledge and concrete campaigning and planning skills of the youth members; to enhance the influence and participation of youth and women in the parties and political life; and to strengthen and develop the cooperation between the youth organization.

Palestinian Peoples Party (PPP) was the Palestinian Communist Party, which was established in 1924 during the British Mandate in Palestine and included Palestinians and Jews. In 1987 the party played a very active and leading role in the First Intifada (uprising) through the United National Command in Palestine. In 1988 the party became a member in the PLO executive committee.

The party has been instrumental in the establishment of the Palestinian trade union movement and the establishment of several popular movements like youth, women and NGOs and was in favor of the Madrid peace congress and then with the Oslo Accords, but with firm reservations. PPP has its own youth organization, the Palestinian Youth Organization.

At the 2006 national elections PPP won one seat in PLC and in the local and municipal elections in October 2012 they won 6 Mayors. The party counts 110 members in 68 village and city councils across the West Bank.

Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) was formed in 1969 as a group broke with the PFLP on a basis of ideological and strategic divisions. The founders of the DFLP were disappointed with the overtly military focus of the PFLP, which they felt left little room for popular engagement and grassroots work. The DFLP took a more grassroots oriented and ideologically focused line. DFLP is a member of the PLO, but rejected the Oslo Accords. In 2000 it participated in the Palestinian delegation in the Camp David negotiations.

DFLP has approximately 10.000 members in the West Bank and Gaza. At the 2006 national elections DFLP won one seat in PLC and in the local and municipal elections October 2012 they won 7 Mayors, and 17 vice mayors. The party counts 198 members in 102 village and city councils across the West Bank. DFLP has a youth organization, Democratic Youth Union (DYU). The DYU constitutes around 40% of all DFLP members.

Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA)

FIDA was established in 1990 through a split in the DFLP over ideological and pragmatic disagreements. The main dissatisfaction was the strongly hierarchical political leadership based in Damascus. The FIDA fraction wanted the leadership closer to the West Bank and to give them the right to decide because they are in the occupied territories and a more moderate and peace-seeking stance towards the occupation. As a result of the split, most of the DFLP structure in the West Bank joined the ranks of FIDA, while DFLP was decimated

 

in the West Bank by the split. FIDA advocates democratization in the Palestinian arena and focuses on a party system that reflects political pluralism and democracy.

The first secretary general of the party was Yasser Abd Rabbo a pro-peace moderate member of PLO who worked as an advisor to Yassir Arafat in the Oslo and Camp David negotiations. The party is led by the long time women’s rights activist Zahira Kamal.The youth wing of FIDA is Independence Youth Union which includes women’s and worker’s groups.

FIDA has roughly 8.000 members in the West Bank and Gaza. The party has no employees, but 36 regular volunteers that receive a modest monthly contribution from the party. FIDA has no members in PLC, but won 4 mayor positions and 87 seats in village and city councils across the West Bank.

HONDURAS: Party-to-party partnership with LIBRE

The Red-Green Alliance has a collaboration project with the left wing party LIBRE that has emerged out of the resistance movement the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP). The resistance movement FNRP was formed as a reaction against the coup in 2009. The project has had a focus on political and organizational learning in the organization. The first part of the project has just been completed, and a new phase is in preparation. The new phase has the objective of contributing to free and transparent elections in November 2013, by ensuring European awareness of the election and a focus and documentation of the political violence.

LIBRE is a leftist political party that seeks to break the two-party system in Honduras. Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, the wife of former President Manuel Zelaya who was deposed in the 2009 coup, is the party’s presidential candidate in the upcoming 2013 Honduran presidential election. LIBRE was founded in 2011 by the FNRP - a coalition of social movements and organizations opposed to the coup. 

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