Issue 275


IL à l’élection de Président allemand Joachim Gauck

Le Président Adjoint de l'Internationale Libérale, Juli Minoves-Triquell, a été invité à Berlin par le président du parlement à la cérémonie des élections du Président de la République Fédérale Allemande Joachim Gauck. M. Minoves a été accueilli par le groupe parlementaire du FDP (Pleine Membre de l'IL) en la personne du ministre des affaires étrangères Guido Westerwelle, ainsi que du Vice-Président de l'IL, Wolfgang Gerhardt. À la fin de la cérémonie, qui était tenue en présence de la Chancellière Angela Merkel, le président adjoint Minoves a signalé le discours du nouveau président fédéral, qui a tenu à rappeler l'importance des votations libres pour une démocratie. « M. Gauck » a dit M. Minoves « est un grand homme d'État qui a vécu la répression de la dictature communiste en Allemagne de l'Est : son courage et son amour pour la démocratie seront deux grands piliers sur lesquels il va cimenter son mandat comme premier maillon de la chaîne constitutionnelle d'un des États les plus importants pour l'avenir de l'Europe ».


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LI Past President calls for UK-Turkey cooperation on Syria

LI Past President, Lord Alderdice called last week for the United Kingdom Government to increase their direct cooperation with Turkey on the violence in Syria. Lord Alderdice met at the House of Lords with the Young Civilians leader, Bilal Macit MP - who was elected to the Turkish Parliament for the Justice and development party (AK Party) in the general elections 2011, for discussing the situation in Syria. Assuring Mr Macit of British Liberal Democrat concern and support, Lord Alderdice said:  “While I do not see military intervention as an appropriate course of action for the UK itself, despite our concerns about Syria, I do want to see top-level public UK engagement directly with the Turkish Government to give all possible support and assistance.   Whatever we may continue to do at the UN and elsewhere, we are fortunate that we have in Turkey a dependable and sophisticated front-line ally with whom we can work to face this dangerous crisis - a crisis which with implications well outside the borders of Syria. ”


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Liberal Deputy Chief Minister optimist on the future of Gibraltar

Dr.Joseph García, recently elected liberal Deputy Chief Minister of Gibraltar and LI Vice President, welcomed to his country Josep Soler, LI Vice President on the Bureau. VP Soler has also met with the new Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo. At the meetings, Soler transmitted to Dr. García, as leader of the Liberal Party of Gibraltar (LI full member), LI's congratulations for the December election victory of the Labour/Liberal coalition. On the future of Gibraltar, in particular on its financial services, Soler declared “Gibraltar has made tremendous and successful efforts to comply with most of the requirements to become a stable, respectful and complacent financial centre. Now, the new government, with a strong liberal participation, has to work on consolidation, giving visibility to the changes implemented through a larger international presence of Gibraltar. Finding a stable agreement with the UK and Spain will strengthen the development of Gibraltar and its neighbouring Spanish regions.” The new liberal Culture minister and Liberal Party Secretary General will lead the party delegation at the Barcelona Executive Committee.


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Cote d’Ivoire elects new government and Assembly President

A week after the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) has announced the final results of the parliamentary elections, Cote d'Ivoire moved swiftly to establish the new parliament and government. While majority of the elections took place in December 2011, some constituencies voted at the end of February 2012. With two constituencies still to cast their ballot, Rassemblement des républicains — RDR (LI full member) won an absolute majority in the National Assembly with 138 out of 255 seats. The Assembly elected RDR's Guillaume Soro the head of parliament. He formerly served as Ivory Coast's prime minister and defence minister. President of the Republic and LI Vice President, Alassane Ouattara moved quickly to appoint Jeannot Ahoussou Kouadio as new Ivorian Prime Minister. Ahoussou Kouadio, 61-year old lawyer and former justice minister in the previous government, has been part of all peace process negotiations since the 2002 political conflict and in known as a politician who knows how 'to reconcile' positions. LI will hold its 58th Congress in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire on 17-21 October 2012.


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Liberals Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the First Liberal Constitution in Europe

Only 10 days before Liberal International returns to Spain for its 188th Executive Committee Meeting in Barcelona under the theme “The Arab Spring: One Year On”, the European liberals at an event in Brussels gathered to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Spanish constitution. Also known as La Pepa, the documents was Europe's first liberal constitution and later became a reference for many liberals throughout Europe. Speaking at the event, ELDR President Sir Graham Watson MEP commented: “If we want Europe to remain a competitive actor also in the 21st Century, the spirit of La Pepa, which we are commemorating tonight, could serve as inspiration.” Back in 2010, Liberal International, in cooperation with LI Cooperating Organisations RELIAL, FNF and ALDE, organized a Conference in Cadiz, Spain marking the 200th anniversary of the Common Liberal Identity and the Cadiz Constitution. The Conference, initiated by LI Patron Richard Moore, was the event at which LI facilitated the establishment of the Iberian Liberal Forum and of an effective Europe-Latin America liberal cooperation.


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New Moldovan president elected

After 917 days of delay, with the required 3/5 majority, Moldova's parliament has finally elected Nicolae Timofti as the new president of the Republic. The 63 years old Timofti is the chairman of the Supreme Council of Magistrates and has pledged wide-ranging reform, Moldovan military neutrality, and moving the country toward European integration. Mr Timofti was nominated for president and backed by Moldova's ruling pro-Western Alliance for European Integration (AIE). Mihai Ghimpu, one of the leaders of the coalition and president of the Liberal Party in Moldova (LI applicant) expressed his satisfaction saying: “We elected a good president and for the remaining three years of mandate we will have to work harder and show results. Now that we have political stability we have to look forward to implementing the governmental programme. We want that the Alliance for European Integration and the President to work together and make people happy.” Timofti's election must now be validated by the Constitutional Court, and he must be sworn in as president within 45 days.


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Senator Perduca acknowledges Somaliland’s success

This week Dr Mohamed Omar, Foreign Minister of Somaliland engaged in an exchange of views with the Foreign Affairs Committee in European Parliament, in which he talked of Somaliland's success in promoting democracy and rule of law in the Horn of Africa. Advocate of recognition for Somaliland's achievements, Marco Perduca MP of Radicali Italiani (LI Full Member) in the Italian Senate called the meeting “a crucial acknowledgement of Somaliland's achievements, which must now be matched by support to what is an example for the whole region.” Somaliland recently lifted a cap on the number of political parties that can contest elections, as called for in a resolution of the Berlin Congress of ELDR (LI Cooperating Organisation) in 2007. Liberal International has been providing support to Somaliland's democratic forces ahead of local elections expected later this year, in view of the Transitional Federal Government's mandate ending in August 2012. LI has reiterated its commitment to the Horn of Africa in its 2011 World Today Resolution, which has been adopted at LI's Manila Congress in 2011.


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Speakers at the 188th Executive Committee announced

Liberal International has announced the speakers that will highlight the events at  the 188th Executive Committee in Barcelona. Under the theme “Arab Spring: One Year On”, the delegates and participants will have a possibility to discuss with human rights and pro-democracy activists and to hear the visions of high level politicians from the Middle East and North Africa. A special Egypt panel will provide a unique opportunity to hear the testimony of the blogger and political prisoner Maikel Nabil, who spent 10 months in detention, and for whose freedom LI members campaigned across the world. The ALDE/CDC Conference will welcome VIPs, including Mohammed Laenser of Morocco, Mahmoud Gebril of Libya, Ayman Nour of Egypt, Ahmad Hariri of Lebanon, Yasmine Brahim of Tunisia, Allabwani Gamal of Syria and Said Sadi of Algeria. Wael Nawara, President of the Arab Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (LI Cooperating organisation), will reflect on the future of the region, while Dr. Hoda Badran, President of Alliance of Arab Women will speak on the position of the women in the democratised societies.

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