To aid the development of political parties, the cornerstone of representative democracy, NDI has published a new document summarizing the common practices of a range of established and broadly democratic parties.
Minimum Standards for the Democratic Functioning of Political Parties outlines basic behavioral norms that characterize democratic parties and identifies organizational issues that parties may want to address in their statutes. The document addresses such issues as respect for human rights and legitimate elections as the basis of government as well as the need for clear rules for candidate/leadership selection and accountability in party finance.
Participants in the recent Fifth Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy in Kyiv, Ukraine, noted that while voluntary, the minimum standards document could help increase understanding of how parties should behave and organize themselves internally.
NDI has worked with political parties around the world for more than 20 years to create more open political environments in which citizens can actively participate in the democratic process. This initiative arose from the Institute’s discussions with the leadership of the party internationals and was guided by requests from the Institute’s political party partners in emerging democracies for universally-accepted principles and norms for truly open and democratic parties. A number of other party institutes also contributed to its development. Like NDI, these partners believe that political parties worldwide need to be democratic, inclusive, and responsive.
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Published on Jul. 8, 2008