Arusha, Tanzania – The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), the legislative organ of the East African Community (EAC), has called on its member parliaments and political parties to celebrate the International Day of Democracy.
This worldwide celebration of democracy, held each year on 15 September, provides an important opportunity to reflect on how democratic principles are upheld across the world. This year’s theme ‘Democracy 2030’ explores the future of democracy, with a special focus on youth engagement and parliament’s role in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In light of this theme, the Assembly urged its member countries to put in place specific programmes to promote the participation of young people in all aspects of their society, including decision making and politics.
The Assembly also resolved to mark and celebrate the International Day of Democracy by setting an agenda for discussion that ensures political participation of young people as the region embraces the future of democracy.
This call was formalised in a Motion for a Resolution to celebrate the International Day of Democracy, moved by Hon. Nusura Tiperu on 30 August 2016. In her justification, Hon Tiperu stressed that the EAC region, whose youth populace is pegged at 63%, must celebrate the successes of democracy and to prepare for future challenges.
Key quotes from EALA members:
“We should not be denied our democratic choices which is a fundamental right. But on the converse, parties must organise themselves to live up to the needs of democracy.“
Hon. Mike Sebalu
“It is on this day that we need to tell the Partner States to carry out, and implement what it takes to ensure access to justice is realised.”
Hon. Mukasa Mbidde
“We need African solutions to African problems in the area of international justice. The youth are majority and deserve their space in terms of planning and decision making”
Hon. Martin Ngoga