Resolution on Algeria

BUENOS AIRES COUNCIL - Shaping Change, 25-26 June 1999

Original: French

The Council of the Socialist International meeting in Buenos Aires on 25-26 June 1999, having followed with great interest the course of the electoral campaign and the presidential election in Algeria and then the development of the situation in a country sorely affected by seven years of violence,

records with satisfaction that the presidential election campaign with the participation of Hocine Aït Ahmed, President of the Socialist Forces Front, FSS, as candidate, has created a positive popular dynamic in favour of dialogue, peace and national reconciliation, for which the Socialist International has consistently appealed, and has mobilised the citizens with the hope of turning this election into an opportunity to re-direct the country onto the path of democratic process;

regrets that this hope for a return to the democratic process, with respect first for the will of the people and its freedom to choose its president ,should have been dashed by those who had recourse to grave irregularities which obliged six candidates, including Aït Ahmed, to refuse to recognise as valid these irregular elections and to withdraw from them, leaving in the running one candidate, presented as that of the authorities;

adopts a position of solidarity and respect with regard to the Algerian people to which it pays homage for its mobilisation during the electoral campaign and for its attitude of massive abstention on polling day;

is concerned by the political evolution of the Algerian government, marked as it has been by a slowing down of political reforms, in particular the respect for fundamental individual and collective freedoms, the prohibition and violent breaking up of popular demonstrations, the prohibition of meetings scheduled by the six ex-candidates united by the Manifesto for freedoms and democracy, the shutting down of the media and the pressure exerted on certain sectors of the privately-owned press;

reminds the political and military authorities that it would be a grave mistake if they remain deaf to the demands expressed during the electoral campaign by the majority of Algerian women and men for a peace marked by democracy and freedom;

reminds the Algerian authorities that only a transparent dialogue, which embraces all political forces who reject and condemn violence, will be able to guarantee a global and democratic political solution to the crisis, a sine qua non of lasting stability, and

reaffirms its fraternal support to its member party, the FFS, and to Hocine Aït Ahmed, in their fight for the re-establishment of peace, for national reconciliation and the building of a democracy based on respect for basic individual and collective freedoms and respect for human rights.