Event Reports

Pacific Political Party Workshop

Legal and Regulatory Frameworks for Political Parties

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, in cooperation with the KAS Regional Programme - Australia and the Pacific, organised a workshop on Political Parties in the Pacific which took place recently in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Throughout the Pacific region, political parties are typically young and in the early stages of their development, and the workshop provided participating nations with the opportunity to discuss avenues to support and strengthen Pacific political parties. The key focus of the workshop was to encourage dialogue amongst political party representatives, officials from political party commissions, electoral management bodies and experts in order to support the democratic development of political parties in the Pacific.

The theme of this year’s workshop was ‘Legal and Regulatory Frameworks for Political Parties’, the intention being to provide participants with an overview on regional and international best practices to regulate and organise political parties. The overall aim of the dialogue was to promote a common understanding of democratic processes in the South Pacific and to identify possible links for future cooperation. More than 100 representatives from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Australia and New Zealand participated in the event.

Following welcome remarks from The Hon Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, and Bakhodir Burkhanov, Country Director of the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, regional and international experts held several workshop sessions with delegates. The sessions focused on the following themes: ‘An overview of Regulating Political Parties’, ‘Common Requirements for registering polticial parties’, ‘Organisation requirements for registered political parties’, ‘Regulating Political Parties Finance’, ‘The relationship between Party and elected representative’, ‘Regulating the movement of elected representatives between parties: Examples from the region’ and ‘Regulating the movement of parties of elected representatives between parties – Impact’.

Based on the discussions of the regional workshop, an additional workshop day was held specifically for representatives of political parties in Vanuatu, in order for them to discuss a new bill centred on the organisation and requirements of political parties in Vanuatu.

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Simon Aleker