Livni doing a hand thing 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The world must set a universal standard for participation in democratic
elections, opposition leader Tzipi Livni wrote in an opinion piece published in
Thursday’s Washington Post.
Referring to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt
without mentioning it by name, she said the standard should prevent armed
radical movements that are not committed to democratic principles from running
in the Middle East.
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“The free world has long recognized that democracy is
about values before it is about voting,” she wrote. “In the 1930s, Europe showed
that a democratic process divorced of values can have devastating results. Since
then, democratic nations have enshrined the idea that democracy is more than
elections and that those seeking to be elected must commit to key democratic
“In Israel, for example, parties are ineligible to
participate in elections if their platform embraces racist or anti-democratic
She noted that in the case of Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in
Lebanon, the international community limited its conception of democracy to the
technical process of voting, and the result was to give a measure of democratic
legitimacy and power to movements that maintain independent militias and that
pose a danger to their societies and neighbors.
“Current events in the
Middle East highlight the urgency of adopting at the global level what true
democracies apply at the national level – a universal code for participation in
democratic elections,” she wrote.
“This would include requiring every
party running for office to embrace, in word and deed, a set of core democratic
principles: the renunciation of violence and the acceptance of state monopoly
over the use of force, the pursuit of aims by peaceful means, commitment to the
rule of law and to equality before the law, and adherence to international
agreements to which their country is bound.
“Such a code could guide
election monitors and individual nations in deciding whether to grant parties
democratic legitimacy. It would put all societies on notice that electing an
undemocratic party would have negative international consequences,” Livni wrote.