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Political pressure groups and leaders

This page shows the value of the Political pressure groups and leaders information field for all countries in the Country Guide.

Notes on this field are available at the Information Field Notes page.

Afghanistan

Afghan refugees in Pakistan, Australia, US, and elsewhere have organized politically; Mellat (Social Democratic Party) [leader NA]; Peshawar, Pakistan-based groups such as the Coordination Council for National Unity and Understanding in Afghanistan or CUNUA [Ishaq GAILANI]; tribal elders represent traditional Pashtun leadership; Writers Union of Free Afghanistan or WUFA [A. Rasul AMIN]

Angola

Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda or FLEC [N'zita Henriques TIAGO; Antonio Bento BEMBE] (Note: FLEC is waging a small-scale, highly factionalized, armed struggle for the independence of Cabinda Province)

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua Trades and Labor Union or ATLU [William ROBINSON]; People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Hugh MARSHALL]

Argentina

Argentine Association of Pharmaceutical Labs (CILFA); Argentine Industrial Union (manufacturers' association); Argentine Rural Society (large landowners' association); Armed Forces; business organizations; General Confederation of Labor or CGT (Peronist-leaning umbrella labor organization); Peronist-dominated labor movement; Roman Catholic Church; students

Australia

Australian Democratic Labor Party (anti-Communist Labor Party splinter group); Peace and Nuclear Disarmament Action (Nuclear Disarmament Party splinter group)

Austria

Austrian Trade Union Federation (primarily Socialist) or OeGB; Federal Economic Chamber; OeVP-oriented League of Austrian Industrialists or VOeI; Roman Catholic Church, including its chief lay organization, Catholic Action; three composite leagues of the Austrian People's Party or OeVP representing business, labor, and farmers

Azerbaijan

Sadval, Lezgin movement; self-proclaimed Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Republic; Talysh independence movement

Bahrain

Shi'a activists have fomented unrest sporadically since late 1994, demanding the return of an elected National Assembly and an end to unemployment; several small, clandestine leftist and Islamic fundamentalist groups are active

Barbados

Barbados Workers Union [Leroy TROTMAN]; Clement Payne Labor Union [David COMMISSIONG]; People's Progressive Movement [Eric SEALY]; Worker's Party of Barbados [Dr. George BELLE]

Belgium

Christian and Socialist Trade Unions; Federation of Belgian Industries; numerous other associations representing bankers, manufacturers, middle-class artisans, and the legal and medical professions; various organizations represent the cultural interests of Flanders and Wallonia; various peace groups such as the Flemish Action Committee Against Nuclear Weapons and Pax Christi

Belize

Society for the Promotion of Education and Research or SPEAR [Assad SHOMAN]; United Worker's Front

Bermuda

Bermuda Industrial Union or BIU [Derrick BURGESS]; Bermuda Public Services Association or BPSA [Betty CHRISTOPHER]

Bhutan

Buddhist clergy; ethnic Nepalese organizations leading militant antigovernment campaign; Indian merchant community; United Front for Democracy (exiled)

Bolivia

Cocalero Group

Bosnia and Herzegovina

NA

Brazil

left wing of the Catholic Church, Landless Worker's Movement, and labor unions allied to leftist Worker's Party are critical of government's social and economic policies

Bulgaria

agrarian movement; Bulgarian Agrarian National Union - United or BZNS; Bulgarian Democratic Center; Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria or CITUB; Democratic Alliance for the Republic or DAR; Gergiov Den; Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization or IMRO; New Union for Democracy or NUD; "Nikola Petkov" Bulgarian Agrarian National Union; Podkrepa Labor Confederation; numerous regional, ethnic, and national interest groups with various agendas

Burkina Faso

Burkinabe General Confederation of Labor or CGTB; Burkinabe Movement for Human Rights or HBDHP; Group of 14 February; National Confederation of Burkinabe Workers or CNTB; National Organization of Free Unions or ONSL; watchdog/political action groups throughout the country in both organizations and communities

Burundi

Loosely organized Tutsi militias

Cameroon

Alliance for Change or FAC [leader NA]; Cameroon Anglophone Movement or CAM [Vishe FAI, secretary general]; Southern Cameroon National Council [Henry FOSSUNG]

Chile

revitalized university student federations at all major universities; Roman Catholic Church; United Labor Central or CUT includes trade unionists from the country's five largest labor confederations

China

no substantial political opposition groups exist, although the government has identified the Falungong sect and the China Democracy Party as potential rivals

Colombia

two largest insurgent groups active in Colombia - National Liberation Army or ELN; and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC

Congo, Republic of the

Congolese Trade Union Congress or CSC; General Union of Congolese Pupils and Students or UGEEC; Revolutionary Union of Congolese Women or URFC; Union of Congolese Socialist Youth or UJSC

Costa Rica

Authentic Confederation of Democratic Workers or CATD (Communist Party affiliate); Chamber of Coffee Growers; Confederated Union of Workers or CUT (Communist Party affiliate); Costa Rican Confederation of Democratic Workers or CCTD (Liberation Party affiliate); Federation of Public Service Workers or FTSP; Free Costa Rica Movement or MCRL (rightwing militants); National Association for Economic Development or ANFE; National Association of Educators or ANDE

Croatia

NA

Cyprus

Confederation of Cypriot Workers or SEK (pro-West); Confederation of Revolutionary Labor Unions or Dev-Is; Federation of Turkish Cypriot Labor Unions or Turk-Sen; Pan-Cyprian Labor Federation or PEO (Communist controlled)

Czech Republic

"Thanks, Now Go"; Impulse 99; Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions

Djibouti

Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy or FRUD and affiliates; Movement for Unity and Democracy or MUD

Dominica

Dominica Liberation Movement or DLM (a small leftist party)

Dominican Republic

Collective of Popular Organizations or COP

Ecuador

Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador or CONAIE [Antonio VARGAS]

Egypt

despite a constitutional ban against religious-based parties, the technically illegal Muslim Brotherhood constitutes MUBARAK's potentially most significant political opposition; MUBARAK tolerated limited political activity by the Brotherhood for his first two terms, but has moved more aggressively in the past six years to block its influence; trade unions and professional associations are officially sanctioned

Eritrea

Eritrean Islamic Jihad or EIJ; Eritrean Liberation Front or ELF [ABDULLAH Muhammed]; Eritrean Liberation Front-Revolutionary Council or ELF-RC [Ahmed NASSER]; Eritrean Liberation Front-United Organization or ELF-UO [Mohammed Said NAWD]

Ethiopia

Southern Ethiopia People's Democratic Coalition; numerous small, ethnically based groups have formed since the defeat of the former MENGISTU regime in 1991, including several Islamic militant groups

Finland

Communist Workers Party [Timo LAHDENMAKI]; Constitutional Rightist Party; Finnish Communist Party-Unity [Yrjo HAKANEN]; Finnish Pensioners Party

France

Communist-controlled labor union (Confederation Generale du Travail) or CGT, nearly 2.4 million members (claimed); independent labor union or Force Ouvriere, 1 million members (est.); independent white-collar union or Confederation Generale des Cadres, 340,000 members (claimed); National Council of French Employers (Conseil National du Patronat Francais) or CNPF or Patronat; Socialist-leaning labor union (Confederation Francaise Democratique du Travail) or CFDT, about 800,000 members (est.)

Georgia

Georgian refugees from Abkhazia (Abkhaz faction in Georgian Parliament); separatist elements in the breakaway region of Abkhazia; supporters of the late ousted President Zviad GAMSAKHURDYA remain a source of opposition

Germany

employers' organizations; expellee, refugee, trade unions, and veterans groups

Gibraltar

Chamber of Commerce; Gibraltar Representatives Organization; Housewives Association

Guadeloupe

Christian Movement for the Liberation of Guadeloupe or KLPG; General Federation of Guadeloupe Workers or CGT-G; General Union of Guadeloupe Workers or UGTG; Movement for Independent Guadeloupe or MPGI

Guatemala

Agrarian Owners Group or UNAGRO; Alliance Against Impunity or AAI; Committee for Campesino Unity or CUC; Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, and Financial Associations or CACIF; Mutual Support Group or GAM

Guyana

Civil Liberties Action Committee or CLAC; Guyana Council of Indian Organizations or GCIO; Trades Union Congress or TUC (Note: the GCIO and the CLAC are small and active but not well organized)

Haiti

Autonomous Haitian Workers or CATH; Confederation of Haitian Workers or CTH; Federation of Workers Trade Unions or FOS; National Popular Assembly or APN; Papaye Peasants Movement or MPP; Popular Organizations Gathering Power or PROP; Roman Catholic Church

Holy See (Vatican City)

none (exclusive of influence exercised by church officers)

Honduras

Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras or CODEH; Confederation of Honduran Workers or CTH; Coordinating Committee of Popular Organizations or CCOP; General Workers Confederation or CGT; Honduran Council of Private Enterprise or COHEP; National Association of Honduran Campesinos or ANACH; National Union of Campesinos or UNC; United Federation of Honduran Workers or FUTH

Hong Kong

Chinese General Chamber of Commerce (pro-China); Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong; Confederation of Trade Unions (pro-democracy) [LEE Cheuk-yan, chairman]; Federation of Hong Kong Industries; Federation of Trade Unions (pro-China) [LEE Chark-tim, president]; Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China [Szeto WAH, chairman]; Hong Kong and Kowloon Trade Union Council (pro-Taiwan); Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce; Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union [CHEUNG Man-kwong, president]; Liberal Democratic Federation [HU Fa-kuang, chairman]

India

numerous religious or militant/chauvinistic organizations, including Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh; various separatist groups seeking greater communal and/or regional autonomy

Iran

active student groups include the pro-reform "Organization for Strengthening Unity" and "the Union of Islamic Student Societies'; groups that generally support the Islamic Republic include Ansar-e Hizballah, Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution, Muslim Students Following the Line of the Imam, and the Islamic Coalition Association; opposition groups include the Liberation Movement of Iran and the Nation of Iran party; armed political groups that have been almost completely repressed by the government include Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK), People's Fedayeen, Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan; the Society for the Defense of Freedom

Iraq

any formal political activity must be sanctioned by the government; opposition to regime from Kurdish groups and southern Shi'a dissidents

Israel

Gush Emunim, Israeli nationalists advocating Jewish settlement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip; Peace Now supports territorial concessions in the West Bank and is critical of government's Lebanon policy

Italy

Italian manufacturers and merchants associations (Confindustria, Confcommercio); organized farm groups (Confcoltivatori, Confagricoltura); Roman Catholic Church; three major trade union confederations (Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro or CGIL [Sergio COFFERATI] which is left wing, Confederazione Italiana dei Sindacati Lavoratori or CISL [Sergio D'ANTONI] which is Catholic centrist, and Unione Italiana del Lavoro or UIL [Pietro LARIZZA] which is lay centrist)

Jamaica

New Beginnings Movement or NBM; Rastafarians (black religious/racial cultists, pan-Africanists)

Jordan

Council of Professional Association Presidents [Ahmad al-QADIRI, chairman]; Jordanian Press Association [Sayf al-SHARIF, president]; Muslim Brotherhood [Abd-al-Majid DHUNAYBAT, secretary general]

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan International Bureau on Human Rights [Yevgeniy ZHOVTIS, executive director]

Kenya

human rights groups; labor unions; Muslim organizations; National Convention Executive Council or NCEC, a proreform coalition of political parties and nongovernment organizations [Kivutha KIBWANA]; Protestant National Council of Churches of Kenya or NCCK [Mutava MUSYIMI]; Roman Catholic and other Christian churches; Supreme Council of Kenyan Muslims or SUPKEM [Shaykh Abdul Gafur al-BUSAIDY, chairman]

Korea, South

Federation of Korean Industries; Federation of Korean Trade Unions; Korean Confederation of Trade Unions; Korean National Council of Churches; Korean Traders Association; Korean Veterans' Association; National Council of Labor Unions; National Democratic Alliance of Korea; National Federation of Farmers' Associations; National Federation of Student Associations

Kuwait

several political groups act as de facto parties: Bedouins, merchants, Sunni and Shi'a activists, and secular leftists and nationalists

Kyrgyzstan

Council of Free Trade Unions; Kyrgyz Committee on Human Rights [Ramazan DYRYIDAYEV]; National Unity Democratic Movement; Union of Entrepreneurs

Laos

noncommunist political groups proscribed; most opposition leaders fled the country in 1975

Libya

various Arab nationalist movements with almost negligible memberships may be functioning clandestinely, as well as some Islamic elements

Lithuania

Lithuanian Future Forum

Luxembourg

ABBL (bankers' association); ALEBA (financial sector trade union); Centrale Paysanne (federation of agricultural producers); CEP (professional sector chamber); CGFP (trade union representing civil service); Chambre de Commerce (Chamber of Commerce); Chambre des Metiers (Chamber of Artisans); FEDIL (federation of industrialists); LCGP (center-right trade union); OGBL (center-left trade union)

Macau

Catholic Church [Domingos LAM, bishop]; Macau Society of Tourism and Entertainment or STDM [Stanley HO, managing director]; Union for Democracy Development [Antonio NG Kuok-cheong, leader]

Madagascar

Federalist Movement; National Council of Christian Churches or FFKM

Mali

Patriotic Movement of the Ghanda Koye or MPGK; United Movement and Fronts of Azawad or MFUA

Martinique

Association for the Protection of Martinique's Heritage (ecologist) [Garcin MALSA]; Caribbean Revolutionary Alliance or ARC; Central Union for Martinique Workers or CSTM [Marc PULVAR]; Frantz Fanon Circle; League of Workers and Peasants; Proletarian Action Group or GAP; Socialist Revolution Group or GRS [Philippe PIERRE-CHARLES]

Mauritania

General Confederation of Mauritanian Workers or CGTM [Abdallahi Ould MOHAMED, secretary general]; Mauritanian Workers Union or UTM [Mohamed Ely Ould BRAHIM, secretary general]; B'athists; Arab nationalists; Islamists

Mauritius

various labor unions

Mexico

Confederation of Employers of the Mexican Republic or COPARMEX; Confederation of Industrial Chambers or CONCAMIN; Confederation of Mexican Workers or CTM; Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce or CONCANACO; Coordinator for Foreign Trade Business Organizations or COECE; Federation of Unions Providing Goods and Services or FESEBES; National Chamber of Transformation Industries or CANACINTRA; National Peasant Confederation or CNC; National Union of Workers or UNT; Regional Confederation of Mexican Workers or CROM; Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Peasants or CROC; Revolutionary Workers Party or PRT; Roman Catholic Church

Morocco

Association of Popular Trade Unions or ADP [leader NA]; Democratic Confederation of Labor or CDT [Noubir AMAOUI]; Democratic National Trade Union or USND [leader NA]; Democratic Trade Union or SD [leader NA]; General Union of Moroccan Workers or UGTM [Abderrazzak AFILAL]; Labor Union Commissions or CS [leader NA]; Moroccan National Workers Union or UNMT [leader NA]; Moroccan Union of Workers or UTM [Mahjoub BENSEDIQ]; Party of Shura and Istiqla [Abdelwaheb MAASH];

Myanmar

All Burma Student Democratic Front or ABSDF; Kachin Independence Army or KIA; Karen National Union or KNU; National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma or NCGUB [Dr. SEIN WIN] consists of individuals legitimately elected to the People's Assembly but not recognized by the military regime; the group fled to a border area and joined with insurgents in December 1990 to form a parallel government; several Shan factions; United Wa State Army or UWSA

Nepal

Maoist guerrilla-based insurgency; numerous small, left-leaning student groups in the capital; several small, radical Nepalese antimonarchist groups

Netherlands

Federation of Netherlands Trade Union Movement (comprising Socialist and Catholic trade unions) and a Protestant trade union; Federation of Catholic and Protestant Employers Associations; Interchurch Peace Council or IKV; large multinational firms; the nondenominational Federation of Netherlands Enterprises

Nicaragua

National Workers Front or FNT is a Sandinista umbrella group of eight labor unions: Farm Workers Association or ATC; Health Workers Federation or FETASALUD; Heroes and Martyrs Confederation of Professional Associations or CONAPRO; National Association of Educators of Nicaragua or ANDEN; National Union of Employees or UNE; and the National Union of Farmers and Ranchers or UNAG; National Workers Front or FNT is a Sandinista umbrella group of eight labor unions: Sandinista Workers Central or CST; Union of Journalists of Nicaragua or UPN; Permanent Congress of Workers or CPT is an umbrella group of four non-Sandinista labor unions: Autonomous Nicaraguan Workers Central or CTN-A; Confederation of Labor Unification or CUS; Independent General Confederation of Labor or CGT-I; and Labor Action and Unity Central or CAUS; Nicaraguan Workers' Central or CTN is an independent labor union; Superior Council of Private Enterprise or COSEP is a confederation of business groups

Pakistan

military remains important political force; ulema (clergy), landowners, industrialists, and small merchants also influential

Panama

Chamber of Commerce; National Civic Crusade; National Council of Organized Workers or CONATO; National Council of Private Enterprise or CONEP; Panamanian Association of Business Executives or APEDE; Panamanian Industrialists Society or SIP; Workers Confederation of the Republic of Panama or CTRP

Paraguay

National Workers Central or CNT; Paraguayan Workers Confederation or CPT; Roman Catholic Church; Unitary Workers Central or CUT

Peru

leftist guerrilla groups include Shining Path [Abimael GUZMAN Reynoso (imprisoned), Gabriel MACARIO (top leader at-large)]; Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement or MRTA [Victor POLAY (imprisoned), Hugo AVALLENEDA Valdez (top leader at-large)]

Poland

All Poland Trade Union Alliance or OPZZ (trade union); Roman Catholic Church; Solidarity (trade union)

Puerto Rico

Armed Forces for National Liberation or FALN; Armed Forces of Popular Resistance; Boricua Popular Army (also known as the Macheteros); Volunteers of the Puerto Rican Revolution

Romania

various human rights and professional associations

Russia

NA

Rwanda

IBUKA - association of genocide survivors

Senegal

labor; Muslim brotherhoods; students; teachers

Serbia and Montenegro

National Movement for the Liberation of Kosovo or LKCK [Sabit GASHI]; The People's Movement for Kosovo or LPK [leader NA]

Seychelles

Roman Catholic Church; trade unions

Slovakia

Association of Employers of Slovakia; Association of Towns and Villages or ZMOS; Christian Social Union; Confederation of Trade Unions or KOZ; Metal Workers Unions or KOVO and METALURG; Party of Entrepreneurs and Businessmen of Slovakia

Somalia

numerous clan and subclan factions are currently vying for power

South Africa

Congress of South African Trade Unions or COSATU [Zwelinzima VAVI, general secretary]; South African Communist Party or SACP [Blade NZIMANDE, general secretary]; South African National Civics Organization or SANCO [Mlungisi HLONGWANE, national president]; note - COSATU and SACP are in a formal alliance with the ANC

Spain

business and landowning interests; Catholic Church; Euskal Herritarok or EH [Herri BATASUNA]; free labor unions (authorized in April 1977); on the extreme left, the Basque Fatherland and Liberty or ETA and the First of October Antifascist Resistance Group or GRAPO use terrorism to oppose the government; Opus Dei; Socialist General Union of Workers or UGT and the smaller independent Workers Syndical Union or USO; university students; Workers Confederation or CC.OO

Sri Lanka

Buddhist clergy; labor unions; Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE (insurgent group fighting for a separate state); radical chauvinist Sinhalese groups such as the National Movement Against Terrorism; Sinhalese Buddhist lay groups

Sudan

National Islamic Front or NIF [Hasan al-TURABI] (the National Congress operates as its legal front)

Suriname

General Liberation and Development Party or ABOP [Ronnie BRUNSWIJK]; Mandela Bushnegro Liberation Movement [Leendert ADAMS]; Tucayana Amazonica [Alex JUBITANA, Thomas SABAJO]; Union for Liberation and Democracy [Kofi AFONGPONG]

Syria

Communist party ineffective; conservative religious leaders; Muslim Brotherhood (operates in exile in Jordan and Yemen); non-Ba'th parties have little effective political influence

Taiwan

Taiwan independence movement, various business and environmental groups (Note: debate on Taiwan independence has become acceptable within the mainstream of domestic politics on Taiwan; political liberalization and the increased representation of opposition parties in Taiwan's legislature have opened public debate on the island's national identity; advocates of Taiwan independence oppose the ruling party's traditional stand that the island will eventually reunify with mainland China; goals of the Taiwan independence movement include establishing a sovereign nation on Taiwan and entering the UN; other organizations supporting Taiwan independence include the World United Formosans for Independence and the Organization for Taiwan Nation Building)

Trinidad and Tobago

Jamaat Al Musilmeen [Abu BAKR]

Tunisia

the Islamic fundamentalist party, Al Nahda (Renaissance), is outlawed

Turkey

Confederation of Revolutionary Workers Unions or DISK [Ridvan BUDAK]; Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association or MUSIAD [Erol YARAR]; Moral Rights Workers Union or Hak-Is [Salim USLU]; Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association or TUSIAD [Muharrem KAYHAN]; Turkish Confederation of Employers' Unions or TISK [Refik BAYDUR]; Turkish Confederation of Labor or Turk-Is [Bayram MERAL]; Turkish Union of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges or TOBB [Fuat MIRAS]

United Arab Emirates

NA

United Kingdom

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Confederation of British Industry; National Farmers' Union; Trades Union Congress

Uzbekistan

Birlik (Unity) Movement [Abdurakhim PULATOV, chairman]; Erk (Freedom) Democratic Party [Muhamd SOLIH, chairman] was banned 9 December 1992; Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan [Abdumanob PULATOV, chairman]; Independent Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan [Mikhail AROZINOV, chairman]

Venezuela

FEDECAMARAS, a conservative business group; VECINOS groups; Venezuelan Confederation of Workers or CTV (labor organization dominated by the Democratic Action)

Zimbabwe

National Constitutional Assembly or NCA
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