On 12 October 2016, the Global Partnership for Multiparty Democracy (GPMD) was founded in The Hague, the Netherlands. The GPMD is a unique ‘North-South’ network that brings together 18 organizations from all over the world that support political parties in developing democracies. All the members operate from a multiparty perspective, meaning that they work with the full political party landscape in a country. Their support is aimed at promoting a political culture of cooperation, consensus and dialogue.
POLITICAL PARTY SUPPORT MATTERS
Political parties are at the heart of representative democracy. They fulfil a unique role by linking the state and society through their participation in parliaments and governments. Unfortunately, political parties can struggle to fulfil their democratic roles. They are often poorly organized and may not be solidly rooted in society.
The GPMD believes that, when political parties have the skills to develop policy programmes, and when they trust each other and are willing to work together for the common good, this will lead to better functioning democracies and ultimately to improved governance and sustainable development.
By joining forces, the GPMD members want to draw the international donor community’s attention to the role of political parties in democratization processes. They are often forgotten by policy makers and donors. And when they do think of political parties, the focus is primarily on elections. Although free and fair elections are fundamental for a democracy, elections alone are not sufficient to guarantee the consolidation of a democracy. For democratic consolidation it is necessary to have politicians and political parties that work on the public good in between elections and who are responsive to the people’s interests.
In other words, political party support matters!