The FINANCIAL -- The role of EU
observers at Algeria's May 10 legislative election was to monitor the
process and not lecture and act as arbitrators or a court, mission chief
Jose Ignacio Salafranca said on Sunday.
"Our mission is not as arbitrators or as a court to try to give lessons," Salafranca told reporters as he released a full report on the election.
"We are dealing with a sovereign state and a friend. These elections represent a starting point, not an end point," the European Union official said when asked about 31 recommendations made in the report.
"Several recommendations are already in the (electoral) law but could be better applied," said Salafranca.
The report cited "weaknesses" and "shortcomings" in the process observed by the 150 European observers present in 48 departments of the country during the election.
Salafranca said that "the report is fairly representative of how the elections were held."
The 60-page report said the election gave a landslide victory to the National Liberation Front, as in 2007 and that the voter turnout was 43.1 percent against 35.65 percent in the previous election.
As EUbusiness reported, Algeria is now preparing for municipal elections on November 29, to be followed in 2014 by a presidential election.
Salafranca said for the next election "we have not received any invitation from the authorities but the practice is that the EU is not present in local elections."
Algeria provides a fifth of Europe's gas, sits on currency reserves of more than 180 billion euros and was also asked by the International Monetary Fund to help boost its lending capacity to struggling economies.