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Westminster Foundation for Democracy is supporting democratic stability in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in the Muslim Mindanao (BARMM or the Bangsamoro). The Bangsamoro is an autonomous region in the Southern Philippines and the centrepiece of a long-running peace process in which the UK Government played an important support role.
The Bangsamoro is a fledgling autonomous region in the Southern Philippines. The region was one year into a complex political transition period, following decades of conflict, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) must navigate a range of governance issues to enable the new autonomous region transition into a working democratic entity. These include:
- Creating a devolved parliamentary system of government within a unitary, presidential state;
- Crafting a mixed electoral system that provides for a fairer playing field and represents diverse group interests;
- Ensuring the new politics of the region includes everyone;
- Ensuring that Bangsamoro women and other minority groups have political voice and meaningful representation.
The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) will serve as an interim government in BARMM until the first elections take place in 2022. Until then, the BTA’s task is to put in place the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the constitutional basis of the Bangsamoro and to build the required institutional architecture and structures for effective and inclusive governance in the Bangsamoro.
WFD is leading a programme supporting the BTA to deliver on the Bangsamoro Organic Law, funded through the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF). WFD’s work in the Bangsamoro addresses some of the most pressing areas of the transition, including:
- Strengthening the Bangsamoro Parliament and developing the expertise of its members and staff;
- Supporting the development of a political party system that fits the new parliamentary frame and which allows for meaningful representation for all peoples of the Bangsamoro;
- Supporting women political leaders in the Bangsamoro to work together to identify and influence policies and laws.
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