Noting that Asia is one of the fastest developing regions in the world today and that it is also home to a significant part of the world's population;
Realizing that as the economies of Asian countries have structurally transformed more and more in the direction of open and free market, their political and social development has correspondingly moved along more democratic patterns;
Aware that Asia, with its diversity of cultures, religions and ethnicities, already had the foundation for tolerant, pluralistic and liberal societies with numerous liberal minded groups and political parties having emerged throughout the region;
Convinced that although purely Western models do not fit perfectly into the Asian political cultures, there is a general direction of the political, social and economic development in Asia towards liberal democracy adapted to local conditions; and
Considering the proposals and suggestions voiced at the preparatory meeting held in Taipei on October 15-17, 1993 by representatives of the Democrat Party (Thailand), the Democratic Party (Korea), the Democratic Progressive Party (Taiwan), the People's Movement Party (Malaysia), and the Liberal Party (Philippines).
We, the (mentioned) Asian political parties, do hereby organize a COUNCIL OF ASIAN LIBERALS AND DEMOCRATS and hereby adopt this charter.
ARTICLE I: NATURE
The COUNCIL OF ASIAN LIBERALS AND DEMOCRATS (CALD) is a forum of liberal parties and organizations in Asia which have come together to promote the basic values of liberal democracy.
ARTICLE II: OBJECTIVES
The council shall have the following general objectives:
- To foster the growth of society based on personal liberty, personal responsibility, social justice, the rule of law and free market economy;
- To provide the means of cooperation, exchange of ideas, interchange of information and network-building among – and between – liberal parties and organizations with a liberal orientation and vision; and
- To discuss and analyze current as well as future political, social and economic concepts and developments in Asia.
ARTICLE III: PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS
To achieve the forgoing objectives, the Council shall undertake the following and like programs and projects:
- Leadership training;
- Political dialogues through conferences and exchanges;
- Political education through seminars, workshops, visits and other appropriate channels; and
- Exchange of information through publication and research.
ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP
1.1 Besides the charter members, membership in the Council shall be open to political parties and organizations in Asia which adhere to the ideas and values of liberal democracy.
1.2 Individuals can become members of the organization; however, individual members shall have no voting privileges.
1.3 A membership committee consisting of the Chairman and two other representatives selected by the Executive Committee shall review all applications for memberships and make appropriate recommendations to the Executive Committee for its decision.
2. Guests and Observers
The Council, upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee, may also invite individuals and organizations either as guests or observers.
Each constituent party shall have on vote at the meetings of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee. Individual members have no voting privileges.
4. Membership Dues
Each Council member party is required to pay an annual fee of not less than five hundred dollars ($ 500). The exact amount shall be recommended by the Membership Committee based on a socialized scheme taking into consideration the resources of the parties and the countries they belong to. A fee for individuals and observers may be fixed by the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE V: THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The General Assembly of all participating parties and organizations shall be held every two (2) years. The discussions of the General Assembly may be held on subjects placed on the agenda by the Executive Committee, whose chairperson shall preside over the General Assembly. The venue of the Assembly shall be decided by the Executive Committee. The number of the delegates to the Assembly shall be decided by participating parties with the concurrence of the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE VI. DECISION MAKING
General policies shall be made by the General Assembly. In between assembly meetings, an Executive Committee shall be authorized to act on behalf of the Council. Decisions on any subject shall generally be made by consensus. Matters on which consensus cannot be attained shall be deferred or dropped as the General Assembly or Executive Committee may decide. Matters that are determined as urgent by two-thirds majority shall review all applications for membership and make appropriate recommendations to the Executive Committee for its decision.
ARTICLE VII. THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Executive Committee shall be composed of one representative from each member party and shall meet once a year including before each General Assembly and may have a special meeting when called by the chairperson or by a majority of Committee members. Representatives of parties other than the delegated representatives may attend and address meetings at the discretion of the Chairperson. The Executive Committee may adopt its own rules of procedure. The composition of the Executive Committee may be changed from time to time, provided that the total number does not exceed 15.
ARTICLE VIII: THE CHAIR PARTY & THE CHAIR-ELECT
The Executive Committee shall, every two years, elect from amongst its members in rotation a Chair Party and a Chair Party-Elect. Such election shall be ratified by the General Assembly held immediately afterwards. The representatives of the Chair Party shall, with the concurrence of the Executive Committee, nominate the CALD Chairperson and Secretary General from the said Chair Party; provided that the Chair Party may nominate the Secretary General from another member party.
The following member parties would assume the position of Chair Party of the organization based on this line of succession: Democrat Party (Thailand), Democratic Progressive Party (Taiwan), Liberal Party (Philippines), Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, Singapore Democratic Party, Liberal Party (Sri Lanka), National Council of the Union of Burma, and Sam Rainsy Party (Cambodia),. New Member Parties would be added to the above list in chronological order; i.e., based on the date of formal membership into the organization.
Upon assumption of the incoming Chair Party, the party, which is in the next line of succession, would assume the position of Chair Party-Elect. The Chair Party-Elect would automatically assume the position of Chair Party upon the expiration of the term of the outgoing Chair Party.
In the event that a Chair Party-Elect, for one reason or another, opt not to assume, or is unable to assume the position of Chair Party, the position of Chair Party of the organization would be assumed by the next party in the line of succession or another party may be selected by the Executive Committee by consensus. The Chair Party-Elect which opted not to assume, or was unable to assume, the position of Chair Party may, with the consent of the Executive Committee, assume the position of Chair Party when it next becomes vacant.
ARTICLE IX: AUDITORS
CALD shall have two auditors, one appointed by the chair party and the other appointed by the member-party of the country where the permanent secretariat is located. The auditors will submit an annual report at the end of each year.
ARTICLE X: THE SECRETARIAT
CALD shall have a permanent secretariat based in one of the member parties. The Secretary General shall head the secretariat to be assisted by the Executive Director who is based in the permanent secretariat.
ARTICLE XI: LANGUAGE
The working language of the Council shall be English.
ARTICLE XII: AMMENDMENTS
Proposals to amend the Charter shall be made formally in writing and submitted to the Secretariat at least three month prior to the holding of the General Assembly.
The Secretariat shall without delay communicate the proposed amendment to each member party or organization.
The amendments shall take effect after approval by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Executive Committee.
(*Charter effective January 01, 2008 with amendments approved during the CALD General Assembly held 10 December 2007 in Taipei, Taiwan)