When Algeria holds legislative elections in May, the country will for the first time permit monitoring by international observers. The European Union and the African Union recently accepted Algeria’s invitation to observe the poll. According to Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci, “the Arab League, the OIC and the UN “will join in this effort and…the Arab League and the OIC will do likewise”. “We are interested in improving the conditions in which these observers will work,” Medelci told Liberte on January 10th. “We are in a situation where what we call the Arab Spring has exerted a positive influence on everyone to do better, including Algeria.”
The chief diplomat commented that Algeria would not limit the number of observers and would sign a memorandum of understanding laying down the terms under which the monitoring mission will operate. Head of EU delegation to Algeria Laura Baeza said on January 19th that the bloc would dispatch a group of envoys to witness the preparations for the poll and discuss with the government the conditions in which they would work.
The envoys will draw up a report prior to the signature of a memorandum of understanding, she added. Similar arrangements will be made with the UN, Arab League, African Union and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation. For his part, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has ordered that these observers must be able to “work in complete freedom and move around with the staff that they may deploy with no restrictions whatsoever”.
Full Article: Foreign observers to monitor Algeria vote (Magharebia.com).