CALD News You Can Use
Week of 28 October- 3 November
Suu Kyi: I started as a politician not a human rights defender
Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has dismissed criticisms of her leadership by insisting that she has always been a politician, rather than a human rights defender.
It follows accusations that the opposition leader has prioritised her presidential ambitions ahead of the protection of minorities in Burma. Many analysts say she has abandoned her principles in order to secure her political power base.
Cambodian Opposition Lifts Conditions on Talks with Ruling Party
Cambodia’s opposition said Thursday it is prepared to hold talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s party without any preconditions in a fresh bid to end a political deadlock three months after disputed national elections.
The move signaled a shift by the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), which days earlier had said it would not hold talks with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) until its three key demands, including the establishment of a committee to investigate election irregularities, were met.
The other conditions were seeking the resignation of all members of the National Election Committee (NEC), which oversees the country’s polls, and the implementation of recommendations from U.N. experts and NGOs on electoral and other reforms.
‘Dialogues’ set for provinces
29th of October
They can’t talk in the National Assembly, and they can’t talk in the provinces – at least at the parliamentarian level – but a new round of local dialogues held by the National Democratic Institute will see the ruling party and the opposition face off via their commune-level counterparts this December.
Since 2004, NDI has arranged town-hall style meetings where members of parliament take questions from the public. This year, the format will be changed to accommodate the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s ongoing boycott of the National Assembly.
Cambodia’s Ruling, Opposition Parties Debate Prospects for Fresh Talks
28th of October
Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the opposition are debating prospects of new talks aimed at ending their political deadlock three months after disputed national elections thrust the country into a crisis.
But chances of a fresh meeting between the two sides following the collapse of their September talks appear slim as opposition leader Sam Rainsy’s Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) continues to call for an independent investigation into the July 28 polls as a precondition for ending its parliamentary boycott.
PDI-P still wary about voter list
3rd of November
The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), upbeat about its odds in the upcoming election, is pushing the General Elections Commission (KPU) to postpone the release of the final voter list, saying that a flawed list could jeopardize its chances of winning.
The party claimed that millions of eligible voters in their major strongholds were not registered. It estimated that around 4.3 million, 2.3 million and 1.9 million of eligible voters in West Java, Central Java and East Java, respectively, could forfeit their right to vote should the poll body insist on using the current list.
PDI-P: Jokowi’s nomination ‘a matter of time’
1st of November
A senior Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician said on Tuesday that the party was waiting for the right time to nominate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as its presidential candidate.
Sabam Sirait, the former secretary-general of the opposition party, said that party chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri had indicated support for the popular Jakarta governor. Jokowi, he said, was very close to Megawati, a former president who has run for reelection twice and lost to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
PDIP-Golkar could be 2014 game changers
28th of October
The Golkar Party and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) have reportedly mulled the idea of forming an alliance for the 2014 presidential race; a move analysts say would be a game changer although it is highly unlikely to happen.
Golkar is now the main ally of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, while the PDI-P is the latter’s biggest opposition party. Moreover, Golkar and the PDI-P comprise the second- and third-largest factions, respectively, in the House of Representatives.
Parties jittery over voters’ list fiasco
28th of October
“If the final voters’ list [DPT] is still marred with confusion, the 2014 election could be rife with fraud,” Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) secretary-general Tjahjo Kumolo said as quoted by Antara news agency.
Gerakan lambasts Ibrahim Ali’s statement of not supporting Gerakan Dominic Lau tells Ibrahim Ali to stop being an opportunist in politics
28th of October
Gerakan’s newly elected Central Committee member, Dr Dominic Lau Hoe Chai voiced his views against a statement made by Perkasa’s chief Ibrahim Ali calling for Gerakan to dissolve and merge with MCA for failing to win the Chinese votes instead of putting the blame on Perkasa together with the threat of withdrawing their support towards Gerakan’s candidate. He rebuked Perkasa by saying the group is actually a poison towards BN during the 505 general election; it not only failed to assist BN in gaining votes, but caused the ruling coalition to lose more votes including the Malays, Chinese and Indians. The most obvious example would be in Pasir Mas, where Ibrahim Ali himself was contesting also failed to get the support from the locals including the Malays themselves.
“Gerakan does not require Perkasa’s so-called ‘help’. On the other hand, they are making the situation worse for us. Although they claimed themselves to be representing the Malays, they failed to receive the majority support from the Malay community while at the same time causing racial polarisation by releasing racist statement from time to time.”
Democrats may step up protest
2nd of November
Veteran party strategist Suthep Thaugsuban on Saturday night called on opponents of the blanket amnesty to gather at Samsen railway station at 10am Sunday and “be ready” for the next move.
“If the crowd is large enough and the conditions are right, we will upgrade our protest,” the Surat Thani MP and former deputy premier told an estimated 20,000 people.
“Those who disagree with absolving the guilt of the wrongdoers should come and join our protest and listen to my announcement of the next move.”
Mr Suthep had said earlier that the party would wait for the outcome of the Senate debate on the amnesty bill before deciding whether to take its protest to the next level.
Thai House passes blanket amnesty as Democrats walk out
1st of November
Bangkok — Thailand’s House of Representatives passed second and third readings of the controversial blanket amnesty bill early Friday morning after opposition Democratic Party MPs walked out in the face of defeat.
The bill was passed by unanimous votes after a 19-hour debate, even as protesters staged an all-night rally organized by the Democrats.
The national police chief said he expected 20,000 to 30,000 people to join the protest, according to Thai media reports.
Amnesty anger set to explode
30th of October
A MUCH-FEARED confrontation over the controversial amnesty bill being pushed by the Pheu Thai-led government appeared more likely yesterday, as Democrat Party MP Suthep Thaugsuban decided to call for rallies nationwide from tomorrow, a Democrat Party source said.
Suthep’s decision was prompted by House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont’s urgent call yesterday for a second reading of the bill tomorrow. Suthep, reportedly acting independently, will today hold a press conference to call the rallies. In Bangkok, the rally venue will initially be on Sethsiri road along Samsen Railway Station near Democrat Party’s headquarters, while provincial rallies will take place outside city halls.
This post was written by CALD