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Young progressives train for the challenge!

Young progressives from Asia gathered from October 29 – November 3 in Batangas, Philippines to gear up for the greater political challenges ahead.

SocDem Asia, in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Olof Palme International Center (OPIC) and Australian Labour International (ALI), trained young leaders through the second leg of the Political Management Training (PMT) 2.

In a time of shrinking democratic spaces in Asia, young political leaders gathered to discuss and learn skills on campaigning, negotiating and dealing with social issues in the region. The participants came from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, Myanmar, and Thailand.

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Thwarting the people’s will: preventing the formation of a progressive coalition government in Timor-Leste

The Network for Social Democracy in Asia (Socdem Asia) Statement on the attempt to thwart the formation of a progressive government in Timor-Leste

Socdem Asia is concerned with the political developments transpiring in Timor-Leste. What is transpiring is an attempt by opposition parties to topple the FRETILIN-led government coalition despite their own declarations of remaining as a constructive opposition and to ensure stability in governance.

As it stands, the progressive Frente Revolucionária do Timor-Leste Independente (FRETILIN) has been voted by the people to lead a government during the 22 July 2017 General Elections. While it has not received the absolute majority of votes, it is the largest political party in parliament with 23 out of 65 seats (The smaller Democratic Party, or PD, has joined FRETILIN to form a minority government of 30 members of parliament). As the largest party, FRETILIN has the priority of forming the government as provided by the Constitution of Timor-Leste. Moreover, the second largest party National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) has publicly declared its commitment to remain as an opposition party and decline any opportunity to form a coalition government. Other parties in the opposition have made similar gestures by declaring that they would be constructive opposition parties. On such grounds, the President of the Republic formally designated FRETILIN Secretary-General Dr. Mari Alkatiri as the new Prime Minister at the proposal of FRETILIN and The PD and after consultations with all the parties with Parliamentary seats as mandated by the Constitution.

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Authoritarianism and neo-liberalism: strengthening and consolidating not ‘sharing and caring’

Socdem Asia Statement on ASEAN Summit

As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) marks its 50th anniversary, we have begun to witness the troubling erosion in the internal coherence, moral conviction and political will of the regional organisation. For years, the ASEAN has been credited  for its commendable efforts to prevent conflict among its members nations, which now include the most diverse collection of democracies, autocracies and communist regimes anywhere in the world. The regional body has also been credited for facilitating easier flow of commodities, investments and people across Southeast Asian nations, raising millions out of extreme poverty and boosting economies across the board.

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