Tony Leon, a member of parliament in South Africa for nearly 20 years and the longest serving leader of the opposition since the advent of multi-racial democracy in April 1994, will be at the Cato Institute as a visiting fellow through December 2008.
"My time at Cato will be an opportunity to reflect on the state of democracy and freedom in Africa, after 20 years in the frontline of South African politics, where I am still serving as a Member of Parliament, and where I notched up the longest period as Leader of the Opposition since the advent of democracy in my country in 1994," says Leon.
Leon, a native of KwaZulu Natal, led and grew his party-the Democratic Alliance-from its marginal position on the brink of political extinction into the second largest political force in South Africa. Nelson Mandela, South Africa's former President, called Leon "A leader whose dynamism and capacity for analysis keeps everyone on their toes."
While at Cato, he will be working at the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity researching the state of liberal democracy in Africa. He will also participate in "The State of Freedom in Africa," a policy forum taking place at Cato on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 10:00 AM that will examine the advance of democracy on the continent.
Leon is available for interviews on issues pertaining to sub-Saharan Africa. As a member of parliament, he worked closely with Jacob Zuma and is commenting on Zuma's probable ascent into the South African presidency. He is also available to comment on Zimbabwean politics.