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Commonwealth workshop to promote dialogue between government and opposition

9 June 2011
First workshop of its kind to be held in Maldives

Members of Parliament and other senior politicians from ruling and opposition parties from Commonwealth countries in Asia will participate in the first workshop of its kind in Maldives, jointly organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

The workshop will also bring together selected resource persons, civil society representatives and observers from regional and international partner organisations of the Commonwealth.

The workshop, which bears the theme, Government and Opposition – Roles, Rights and Responsibilities, will be held from 13 to 15 June 2011 in Malé.


“Commonwealth Asia is the association’s most populous region, with both old and deep-rooted democracies, as well as more nascent ones. In all democracies, it is important for government and opposition parties to engage more effectively to promote democratic culture, political stability and socio-economic prosperity in their countries and the broader region,” said Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, who will launch the workshop together with the Speaker of the Majlis, the Maldives Parliament, Hon Abdulla Shahid, as well as the representative of the CPA.

“At this workshop, parliamentarians will be able to share their own experiences and knowledge with peers from other countries, as well as learn from the experiences of others. This will help develop greater insight and understanding of issues, as well as generate good practice for Commonwealth Asia and beyond. This workshop aims to reinforce the Commonwealth’s commitment to strengthening democratic values, processes and institutions, which are characterised, among other things, by free and fair elections and representative legislatures,” she added.

The delegates will explore issues such as the challenge of good governance; the role of Parliament; transparency and accountability; the role of political parties in credible and peaceful elections; and managing conflict.

The workshop is part of a highly successful series that has been held in different parts of the Commonwealth. Previous workshops have covered the Pacific, Caribbean, West African and Southern African regions.