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Party development program launched

REGISTERED political parties have just completed the first training workshop session of the Political Party Development Program on Friday 28 October 2016.

The program is part of the Political Parties Commission’s core functions under the Political Parties Integrity Act passed by Parliament in 2014.

“The workshop is the first of its kind ever held for political parties and was attended by thirty senior political party leaders from eleven political parties,” a statement from the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, said

The workshop was facilitated by international consultants engaged by the Political Parties Commission through the support of the United Nations Development Programme Country Office.

It was facilitated by former Canadian Member of Parliament, Kevin Deveaux and American political party development expert, Tim Baker.

Held over four days of intensive training, the workshop covered eight modules including party development, organizational structure, strategic planning, communication, campaigning, legal compliance etc.

At the opening of the workshop, Ruth Liloqula launched what is expected to be an annual program of the Political Parties Commission.

“These trainings are the first of intensive capacity building programs for the next few years” Mrs Liloqula said.

She said it seeks to provide and equip political parties with the necessary tools to establish itself.

Mrs Liloqula stated that the vision is to build political parties as well as the Commission to ensure that the people have the best options when it comes to their choice of leaders, parliamentarians and of course, government and government policies.

“Solomon Islanders deserve the right to choose between the best. And as the vehicles for the delivery of democracy, political parties have the responsibility of providing that choice. And we can only do that if we are strong, grounded and resourced,” she said.

The sentiments were shared by the 30political party leaders gathered throughout the workshop.

The Registrar of Political Parties, Calvin Ziru expressed his own sentiments on the workshop.

“The level of engagement and the quality of the interaction by the political parties is absolutely amazing to observe,” Mr Ziru said.

“These leaders appreciate the level of development they need to achieve. Their commitment to advance themselves is amazing to observe,” he added.

A senior party official remarked that “in the last 4 days we have been overwhelmed by the new things we have learnt in this workshop.

“Some of us have been involved in politics and political parties for more than 20 years, and yet the emphasis on internal change and development is one we cannot deny.”

The statement from the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties said:

“It is clear that the political parties that are resilient in their commitment to change will of course come out stronger in the next few elections.

“This workshop covers modules that were identified by political parties themselves in a scoping exercise conducted by consultants engaged by the Political Parties Commission in late 2015. The development training will continue throughout 2017 and 2018.”