Ranil elected Chairman Asia-Pacific Democrat Union

Leader of the Opposition and United National Party, Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe was unanimously elected Chairman, Asia-Pacific Democrat Union (APDU). The APDU is part of the International Democrat Union (IDU) with the mission of promoting common democratic values and to help people in countries were democracy is fragile or oppressed, a press release from the Opposition Leader Office said yesterday (18).

Mr. Wickremesinghe in accepting the APDU Chairmanship presented his three-point program of activities and milestones that include membership expansion, fund-raising, campaign management assistance and protecting and promoting democratic values. The Membership Expansion would focus on a dialogue with political party leadership in South, South-East and East Asia in order to attract new members from key nations. Campaign Management Assistance will focus on enhancing member partyís capabilities in management and strategy for winning elections, the press release said.

Mr. Wickremesinghe emphasized the importance of protecting and promoting democratic values in the Asia-Pacific region.

The APDU Council meeting is part of the IDU 9th Party Leaders meeting currently taking place in Washington, D.C. IDU is chaired by Mr. John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia while Mr. Jan Petersen, Foreign Minister of Norway holds the Deputy Chair. The meeting si hosted by the Republican Party of the United States, a member of the IDU as well as the APDU.

IDUs global alliance comprises of 80 political members in 60 nations along with its regional organizations including the Asia-Pacific, American, African and Europeans Democrat Unionís. The IDU was founded on 24th June 1983 in London by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, then Vice President George H. W. Bush, President Jacques Chirac, and Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Wickremesinghe will be in Washington, DC until July 19 participating in the IDU Party Leaders meeting.

President George W. Bush will host fellow IDU Party Leaders for a roundtable on democracy and freedom at the White House.


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