Daily Archives: July 9, 2015

Democracy is not a mystifying western plot – it is a universal value

A Bahraini pro-democracy protester gestures in front of a wall sprayed with anti-government graffiti. Photograph: Hasan Jamali/AP

‘The sustainable development goals may not mention democracy, but their focus on the accountability of political institutions will be key to improved governance’

The slow unfolding of the sustainable development goals continued last month with the unveiling of the zero draft that will be negotiated in the runup to the summit in New York in September.

How does the draft of 17 goals look from the perspective of an organisation dedicated to helping countries to strengthen democracy? The answer is not bad, but not good.
On the plus side, it is good that there is a goal 16 at all. The draft goal reads: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

There was no equivalent in the millennium development goals (MDGs), and it is welcome that goal 16 includes a target of ensuring “responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels”.

I like all those words, which embody a commendable set of ambitions. The target of “effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels” is a good transposition of text from the UN high-level panel report on the post-2015 development agenda co-chaired by the presidents of Liberia and Indonesia and the British prime minister, which included all three adjectives.

On the minus side, there are two main gaps.

First, the word “democracy” itself has not been used, nor any variant such as “democratic accountability”. That is disappointing but not surprising, even though the Millennium Declaration, which formed the basis of the MDGs, did make specific calls for these conditions to be included.
My guess is that the word “democracy”, perhaps less popular now than it was 15 years ago, was blocked by the sensitivities of UN politics.

The second gap is the failure to address the key instruments of representative democracy, namely parliaments or political parties. Again, this is disappointing but not surprising. There is a presumption in the text that the executive are the main actors, rather than the representatives of citizens. Indeed, the high-level panel called for someone (implicitly governments) to grant rights (such as freedom of speech) to people, rather than for people to act to curb the powers of the executive.

So what should be the response of those interested in strengthening democracy? We need to do two things.

First, we should demystify democracy. Democracy is not a western plot, it is a universal value. Virtually all countries have aspects of democratic culture in place to some degree, and absolutely every country has room to strengthen the quality of their democracy.

I would like to build common ground about the aspects of democracy that are important regardless of region or political grouping. That would make work on achieving the targets in goal 16 much more useful.
Second, the Millennium Declaration is still relevant when it says that we should “work collectively for more inclusive political processes, allowing genuine participation by all citizens in all our countries”. We should rebalance our thinking about national responsibilities, taking up that challenge of putting people and their representatives first. This links back to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The central task of the declaration, and of the Magna Carta for that matter, was to curb the power of the executive – which, unchecked, tends to be abused.

In the vast majority of countries, we should look at the role of parliaments, the judiciary, civil society and the media, as well as the executive, when considering how to secure objectives encapsulated in goal 16.

A report by Civicus called for new forms of representation and oversight, such as citizens’ panels. Institutions should be “tested on their ability to respond to and achieve progress on issues identified by people rather than just governments”, it added.

The sentiment certainly reflects the level of concern many people feel about traditional representative institutions. Building common ground on what democracy means, and helping to improve the quality of representation in our countries, go hand in hand and are both worth pursuing.

Goal 16 is imperfect and is almost at the bottom of the list of proposed SDGs. But the glass is half full. Politics and the development community have been uncomfortable partners in many ways, and this is a chance to work together to help political systems do a better job. If we succeed, then we will have fulfilled the promise of the Millennium Declaration – citizens of all countries working together to put sustainable development at the centre of the agenda and hold governments to account for their actions.

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith is chief executive of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy

Source: Guardian Global Development

Kuki abavoka batinya kuburanira Green Party niba u Rwanda rutarimo iterabwoba ?

Urubanza

Nyuma yo kumva ko Green Party yageze imbere y’urukiko ikabura uyiburanira ku munota wa nyuma kandi ikaba yaranyuze ku bavoka barenze bane, bose bakagira ubwoba, bakanga kunganira abarega, negereye impuguke mu mategeko Maître Innocent Twagiramungu mubaza niba amahame y’umwuga w’abavoka yaba yemera kwanga kuburanira ubisabye. Mbere na mbere ariko twibukiranye iby’iki kirego n’ingorane ba nyrikurega bari guhura na zo.

Abavoka bari mu bantu b’ibanze bo kwitabaza imbere y’ubutabera haba kuwaba aregwa cyangwa arega. Umwavoka arengerwa n’mategeko by’akarusho kuko muri rusange ntashobora kuzira icyo avuze mu rukiko mu gihe kigamije kurenganura uwo aburanira. Nta rwitwazo rusobanurwa rwatuma umwavoka yanga kuburanira ubimusabye.

Mu Rwanda ho, kwanga kuburanira ubisabye birakorwa. Byaba biterwa ni iki niba atari ubwoba bw’inkurikizi mbi byagirira umwavoka ? Niba atari iterabwoba ni iki ? Kubera ko nta gaciro ikirego gifite ? Mu gihe urukiko rwakiriye ikirego, rugasanga cyujuje ibisabwa n’amategeko ngo cyakirwe kinaburanishwe, hari impamvu yindi ifite ishingiro yatuma umwavoka yanga kuburana ?

Mu ntangiriro za Kamena uyu mwaka, ishyaka riharanira demokarasi no kurengera ibidukikije, (Green Party), riyobowe na Dr Frank Habineza ryagejeje ikirego imbere y’urukiko rw’ikirenga, aho rwasabye ko rutakwemerera Intekonshingamategeko guhindura ingingo y’101 y’Itegekonshinga aho ivuga ko manda za perezida wa Repubulika zidashobora kurenga ebyiri.

Kuri uyu wa gatatu tariki ya 08 Nyakanaga 2015 ni bwo urukiko rw’ikirenga rwari rwatumiye abareze ngo baze imbere y’abacamanza basobanure binononsoye ikirego cyabo. Dr Frank Habineza, perezida wa Green Party n’abo bayoboranye bagaragarije urukiko ko bakomeje kubura umwavoka wemera kuza kubaburanira ndetse basaba ko bakongerwa igihe kugira ngo bamushakishe kuko mu rukiko rw’ikirenga ntawushobora kwiburanira kabone n’aho yaba ari impuguke cyangwa inzobere mu mategeko.

Inshuro enye zose, Green Party yashatse abavoka bakisubiraho nyuma

Ku nshuro ya mbere, umwavoka wagombaga kuburanira Green Party, yabwiye Dr Frank Habineza ko yashyizweho iterabwoba n’abantu banyuranye, ngo banarimo na bamwe mu bo bahuriye mu rugaga rw’abavoka i Kigali.

Ku nshuro ya kabiri, umwavoka wari wemeye, yaje kwisubiraho, maze abwira Dr Frank Habineza ko yavuze amasengesho ni uko ngo Imana imwereka ko adakwiye kuburana urubanza rufite aho ruhuriye na perezida Kagame!

Ku nshuro ya gatatu, umwavoka wundi Green Party yari yizeye na we yaje kubatenguha ndetse arababwira ngo n’aho bamwishyura miliyoni ntiyaburana ruriya rubanza.

Ntabwo Green Party yacitse intege, yakomeje gushakisha ibona uwa kane, cyakora ku munota wa nyuma nawe yabatengushye kuko ntiyakandagiye mu rukiko kandi uyu munsi aribwo hari hategenyijwe urubanza. Imbere y’abacamanza, uhagarariye Green Party yavuze ko uwari kubaburanira yagize ubwoba bwo kuza kuburana.

Ishyaka riharanira demokarasi no kurengera ibidukikije ryasabye kongererwa igihe kugira ngo rishakishe undi mwavoka. Itariki bahawe yo kuburana ni 29/07/2015.

Ese hari impamvu amategeko yemera zatuma umwavoka yanga kuburanira ubimusabye?

Iki ni ikibazo nabajije Maitre Innocent Twagiramungu. Yansubije ko hari impamvu ebyiri
1. Kuba umwavoka yaba asanga atemera ibikubiye mu kirego. Yagize ati : « Iyo utemera sa cause kuko amategeko adusaba gufata les causes que nous croyons en âme et conscience juste ».
2. Umwavoka ashobora no kwanga bitewe n’ingaruka zikomeye abona byamukururira. Yagize ati : « Ushobora no kwanga bitewe na risque auquel l’affaire t’expose ».

Nabajije kandi Maître Innocent Twagiramungu, akurikije uko akurikirana n’ibibera mu Rwanda, niba asanga bishoboka ko ikibuza abavoka kuburanira Green Party niba umuntu yagishakira muri ziriya mpamvu ebyiri. Yansubuje agira ati : « Aucune des deux raisons navuze n’est valable ». Mu kinyarwanda ncishirije ni nk’aho yavuze ko ikibuza abo bavoka kuburana nta ho gihuriye n’izi mpamvu yasobanuye.

Bikomeje kuriya, umwavoka bashatse wese akagira ubwoba bwo kubunganira imbere y’urukiko, ni ukuvuga Green Party ishobora gutsindwa itanaburanye. Mu gihugu kivuga ko kigendera ku mategeko n’ubwisanzure birakwiye ko inzego bireba zibaza niba ubutabera butabangamiwe iyo habaye ibintu nk’ibi. Urugaga rw’abavoka mu Rwanda na rwo rukwiye kwibaza rukisubiza. Ese rwarebera gusa aho umunyarwanda yiruka imisozi akayirangiza akabura utinyuka kumuburanira kandi hari abavuga ko biyemeje ndetse barahiriye kunganira ababurana.

Ikirego cyarakiriwe, kirasuzumwa, inzego z’urukiko zemeza ko gishobora kuburanishwa. Iyo kiba kitujuje ibisabwa n’urukiko, ntirwari kucyakira. Kubura umwavoka bishobora gutanga isura mbi y’uko mu Rwanda hariho iterabwoba, ko mbese ari nko kwihararukwa kuburana imanza zifite aho zihuriye n’abakomeye muri Leta. Nyamara Itegekonshinga rivuga ko abantu bareshya imbere y’amategeko.

Jean-Claude Mulindahabi

mulijeanclaude.wordpress.com