The 56th Congress of the Liberal International (LI) where I
took part, finished its work on Saturday night in Cairo.
The congress adopted basic resolution World Today, which,
in my view is a very interesting document. It provides liberal
assessment of the situation in different countries and regions
of the world.
In terms of examples:
The congress approved election of Barack Obama noting that
he had won under the slogans of “active civil position, tolerance,
dialogue, rights of individuals, freedom and democracy”.
[The congress also noted that] Honduras had been “going through
a period of serious disturbances provoked by the violation
of its Constitution by the President of the Republic”.
Liberal International also expressed its concern with the
political situation and the continued spread of nationalism
and populism in Venezuela under the Hugo Chavez regime. LI
condemned Venezuelan president’s “continuous attacks on the
opposition, NGOs and the independent media”. The new “Law
on media crimes” aims to limit freedoms, control and regulate
all content of media outlets and to threaten journalists with
up to four years in prison. The congress also collected signatures
under a petition to free 23 dissidents imprisoned by Chavez
without any trial. I also put my signature.
LI also marked suppression of mass media in Argentina under
its President Kirchner. Further LI expressed concern with
the rising wave of nationalism and populism in Bolivia, with
the authoritarian policies of the country’s president Evo
Morales virtually leading the country to a split.
Regarding the situation in Somali LI expressed its support
to the Transitional Federal Government against the extremist
Al Shabaab movement controlling a large part of the country.
LI also condemned Singapore’s recently passed Public Order
Act restricting human rights and freedoms and giving more
power to the police.
These are only some of the assessments.
The resolution deals with dozens of countries. It also touches
on the global problems, such as climate change and rise of
As regards the situation in Russia, the congress noted that
its opposing the legislation which had “extended the term
of the Russian Presidency from four to six years, going against
the basic democratic rule of governmental change and leading
to the growth of bureaucratic supremacy and corruption in
On my initiative the congress also expressed its concern
“about the ongoing trends towards the abolition of fair, competitive
elections and the curbing of human rights in Russia”.
Further developing this thesis I submitted to the congress
a separate resolution on the election fraud in Russia on October
11, 2009. The congress adopted it and expressed its concern
in view of “unprecedented falsifications of the elections
results and violations of the law, which was confirmed by
observers from all the political parties except for the ruling
party”, the congress called the Russian authorities to observe
Russia’s obligations under its membership in the OSCE and
in the Council of Europe on ensuring free and fair elections
in the country.
LI presumed that proceeding from these obligations the Russian
authorities “should conduct a complex inspection of the complaints
of the actions (or negligence) of election commissions in
all the Russian Federation subjects, all the evidence of fraud
published by the mass media and punish all those guilty of
the election fraud, as well as take urgent remedy measures
up to recognising the elections void, and conduct new elections”.
I also submitted an amendment on the assessment of the Russian-Georgian
conflict of 2008 into the final resolution World Today. The
initial paragraph of the resolution laid all the blame for
the developments in the South Ossetia and escalation of the
conflict on the Russian side only and made a conclusion that
“the integration into NATO of aspiring states such as Georgia
will contribute further to democratisation and stabilisation
on the European continent”.
I told to the delegates that the European Commission admitted
that had been Georgia which had initiated the conflict. Consequently,
the congress adopted my text, laying the blame to the escalation
of tensions on both the sides, the new version did not contain
any calls to admitting Georgia into NATO. The congress called
Russia and Georgia “to refrain from hasty political steps
and statements leading to further escalation of tensions.
LI calls all parties involved to guarantee the human rights
of all civilians who suffered from the conflict.”
In particular, I had in mind here Russian soldiers wounded
in this conflict, as well as relatives of the victims who
had not get any deserving aid or compensation from the Russian
City Duma Elections, 2009