Charter

Noting  that Asia is one of the fastest developing regions in the world today and that it is also home to a significant part of the world’s population;

Realizing that as the economies of Asian countries have structurally transformed more and more in the direction of open and free market, their political and social development has correspondingly moved along more democratic patterns;

Aware that Asia, with its diversity of cultures, religions and ethnicities, already had the foundation for tolerant, pluralistic and liberal societies with numerous liberal minded groups and political parties having emerged throughout the region;

Convinced that although purely Western models do not fit perfectly into the Asian political cultures, there is a general direction of the political, social and economic development in Asia towards liberal democracy adapted to local conditions; and

Considering the proposals and suggestions voiced at the preparatory meeting held in Taipei on October 15-17, 1993 by representatives of the Democrat Party (Thailand), the Democratic Party (Korea), the Democratic Progressive Party (Taiwan), the People’s Movement Party (Malaysia), and the Liberal Party (Philippines).

We, the (mentioned) Asian political parties, do hereby organize a COUNCIL OF ASIAN LIBERALS AND DEMOCRATS and hereby adopt this charter.


ARTICLE 1: NATURE

The COUNCIL OF ASIAN LIBERALS AND DEMOCRATS (CALD) is a forum of liberal parties and organizations in Asia which have come together to promote the basic values of liberal democracy.

ARTICLE 2: OBJECTIVES

The council shall have the following general objectives:

  1. To foster the growth of society based on personal liberty, personal responsibility, social justice, the rule of law and free market economy;
  2. To provide the means of cooperation, exchange of ideas, interchange of information and network-building among – and between – liberal parties and organizations with a liberal orientation and vision; and
  3. To discuss and analyze current as well as future political, social and economic concepts and developments in Asia.


ARTICLE III: PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS

To achieve the forgoing objectives, the Council shall undertake the following and like programs and projects:

  1. Leadership training;
  2. Political dialogues through conferences and exchanges;
  3. Political education through seminars, workshops, visits and other appropriate channels; and
  4. Exchange of information through publication and research.


ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP

1. Membership

  1. Besides the charter members, full membership in the Council shall be open to political parties and organizations in Asia which adhere to the ideas and values of liberal democracy.
  2. A political party or organization that is in sympathy with the principles of liberal democracy as described in this Charter may be granted observer-member status for a period of three years. Before the end of the three-year period, the observer-member should have applied for full membership. If this does not happen, the affiliation of the political party or organization ceases immediately.
  3. Individuals can become members of the organization; however, individual members shall have no voting privileges.
  4. A membership committee consisting of the CALD Chairperson and two other representatives selected by the Executive Committee shall review all applications for memberships and make appropriate recommendations to the Executive Committee for its decision.

2. Guests

The Council, upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee, may also invite individuals and organizations as guests.

3. Voting

Each constituent party shall have on vote at the meetings of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee. Individual members have no voting privileges.

4. Membership Dues

Each Council member party, observer party and individual member is required to pay an annual fee. The exact amount shall be recommended by the Membership Committee taking into consideration the resources of the parties and/or the countries the members belong to. The Executive Committee decides the final amount of the annual fee based on the recommendation of the Membership Committee.

5. Disciplinary Procedure

Any member may be expelled for any of the following reasons:

(i)  not abiding by the Charter or any other internal regulations;

(ii)  not abiding by the decisions of the Council;

(iii)  not fulfilling the conditions for membership anymore;

(iv)  when any of its acts is contrary to the interest and the values of the Council in general.

A minimum of three (3) full member-parties can initiate expulsion proceedings against a member-party.  The Executive Committee decides on the expulsion of full, observer and individual members with a majority of two-thirds of the votes cast.

The full, observer or individual member will be informed of the expulsion proposal by registered mail, facsimile, email or any other written means. The letter sets forth the grounds on which the proposed expulsion is based. The full, observer or individual member has the right to notify its remarks in writing to the Secretary-General, within 15 calendar days subsequent to the receipt of the letter. Upon its prior written request, the full, observer or individual member involved shall be heard.

The expulsion decision sets forth the grounds on which the expulsion is based but apart from that, the decision does not need to be justified. The Secretary-General sends a copy of the decision to the expelled member by registered mail, facsimile, email or any other written means within 15 calendar days. The expulsion shall come into force immediately but the expelled member shall remain liable for its financial obligations vis-à-vis the Council until the end of the financial year.


ARTICLE V: THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The General Assembly of all participating parties and organizations shall be held every two (2) years. The discussions of the General Assembly may be held on subjects placed on the agenda by the Executive Committee, whose chairperson shall preside over the General Assembly. The venue of the Assembly shall be decided by the Executive Committee. The number of the delegates to the Assembly shall be decided by participating parties with the concurrence of the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VI: DECISION MAKING

General policies shall be made by the General Assembly. In between assembly meetings, an Executive Committee shall be authorized to act on behalf of the Council. Decisions on any subject shall generally be made by consensus. Matters on which consensus cannot be attained shall be decided with a two-thirds majority of the votes cast.

ARTICLE VII: THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The Executive Committee shall be composed of one representative from each member party and shall meet once a year including before each General Assembly and may have a special meeting when called by the chairperson or by a majority of Committee members. Representatives of parties other than the delegated representatives may attend and address meetings at the discretion of the Chairperson. The Executive Committee may adopt its own rules of procedure.

ARTICLE VIII: THE CHAIR PARTY & THE CHAIR-ELECT

The Executive Committee shall, every two years, elect from amongst its members in rotation a Chair Party and a Chair Party-Elect. Such election shall be ratified by the General Assembly held immediately afterwards. The representatives of the Chair Party shall, with the concurrence of the Executive Committee, nominate the CALD Chairperson and Secretary General from the said Chair Party; provided that the Chair Party may nominate the Secretary General from another member party.

Member parties would assume the position of Chair Party of the organization based on the date of formal membership with CALD.

Upon assumption of the incoming Chair Party, the party, which is next in the line of succession, would assume the position of Chair Party-Elect. The Chair Party-Elect would automatically assume the position of Chair Party upon the expiration of the term of the outgoing Chair Party.

In the event that a Chair Party-Elect, for one reason or another, opt not to assume, or is unable to assume the position of Chair Party, the position of Chair Party of the organization would be assumed by the next party in the line of succession or another party may be selected by the Executive Committee by consensus. The Chair Party-elect which opted not to assume, or was unable to assume, the position of Chair Party may, with the consent of the Executive Committee, assume the position of Chair Party when it next becomes vacant.

ARTICLE IX: AUDITORS

CALD shall have two auditors, one appointed by the chair party and the other appointed by the member-party of the country where the permanent secretariat is located. The auditors will submit an annual report at the end of each year.

 ARTICLE X: THE SECRETARIAT

CALD shall have a permanent secretariat based in one of the member parties. The Secretary General shall head the secretariat to be assisted by the Executive Director who is based in the permanent secretariat.

ARTICLE XI: LANGUAGE

The working language of the Council shall be English.

ARTICLE XII: AMENDMENTS

Proposals to amend the Charter shall be made formally in writing and submitted to the Secretariat at least three months prior to the holding of the General Assembly.

The Secretariat shall without delay communicate the proposed amendment to each member party or organization.

The amendments shall take effect after approval by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Executive Committee.

(*Charter with amendments approved during the CALD General Assembly held 5 November 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand) 


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The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) was inaugurated in Bangkok in 1993, with the support of then Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai and South Korea’s Kim Dae-Jung. CALD, which offers a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation, is the only regional alliance of liberal and democratic political parties in Asia.
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