Declaration on Algeria
Meeting of the Socialist International Mediterranean Committee, Tangier, 21-22 March 1997
- The SI Mediterranean Committee once again expresses its deep concern with regard to the upward spiral of killings which the Algerian people have endured over the last five years.
- Hostage to violence and condemned to silence, the Algerian population live in a climate of general insecurity aggravated by disastrous economic and social conditions.
- However, the Algerian people have continually expressed their profound aspiration to peace and democracy. A political solution based on the priority of a return to civil peace could have been found after the presidential election, but the opportunity was not seized. The referendum on the constitution as well as the new laws which limit, frame and control the functioning of political parties and their activities challenge any prospect of a real democratic opening.
- Once again, in the absence of any prospects of a real political solution, the Algerian authorities hastily impose an election deadline.
- The SI Mediterranean Committee considers that specific measures are essential for the credibility and legality of the planned ballot:
- lifting of all restrictions which hinder the activities of peaceful opposition and which abide by democratic rules;
- impartial access to the media as of now, in particular to television and radio, for all political forces which reject violence and terrorism;
- effective neutrality of the authorities;
- guaranteed observance of the entire electoral process by the political parties participating in the elections;
- participation in all stages of the electoral process by international observers from both governmental and non-governmental organisations.
- The SI Mediterranean Committee considers that the massive presence of international observers prior to, during and after the ballot is indispensable in order to ensure efficient monitoring and allow women and men voters to express their preference with confidence.
- The Mediterranean Committee calls on its member parties to participate in the SI's observer mission and to support the efforts of international organisations in this regard.
The Mediterranean Committee expresses its support to all democratic powers which are working towards a return to civil peace in Algeria and particularly the Socialist Forces Front, FFS. It calls on all Socialist International member parties to give concrete demonstration of this support, particularly on the occasion of the forthcoming elections.