April 7, 2004

ANGOLA: Government commits to strengthening of democratic institutions

The Angolan Government reiterated its firm determination of being committed, in the framework of its competences, to the creation of technical and material condition of adequate and necessary mechanisms to make approve the legal tools that allow the strengthening of democratic institutions and their acts. In a statement on the National Reconciliation and Peace's Day, the Angolan Executive guarantees, in this practice, the full participation of the citizens in the drafting and approval of the new Constitutional Bill and of all legislation concerning the holding of next general elections, including the draft of the new Press Bill.

In this context, the Government considers that the country cannot consolidate a Democratic State "if the citizens that integrate it and constitute its fundamental element opt for inciting the socio-economic disorder and the political intolerance", the statement said. On this purpose, and in spite of the rights to freedom of expression, gathering and demonstration of the citizens are guaranteed by the law, however, the Government regards "absolutely unacceptable" the resort to the practice of acts of vandalism and the destruction of others' property or dare the authorities and the legal norms. "The legal framework existing in the country now allows every citizen, throughout the national territory with no discrimination, to establish with the authorities every type of dialogue in order to solve the population's most candescent problems, including those related to regional issues, such as the case of Cabinda province", reads the Government statement.

The issue of far northern Cabinda province, the Angolan Government reaffirms that only a frank, open and credible dialogue can lead to a fair solution, that takes into account not only the interest of the local population, but also the safeguard of the Angolan State as the unique, sovereign and indivisible entity. Thus, it is regarded to be important the building of a State that focuses on social justice, essential condition so that the Angolan people can live within their cultural, historical and ethnic diversity and, definitely, to consolidate Peace and National Reconciliation amongst all.

In the meantime, the Spokesman of the Republic's Presidency, Aldemiro Vaz da Conceição, has announced that there were no dates set for the holding of general elections. The memorandum of the ruling MPLA party sent to the Parliament Speaker "contains a series of duties that we think for the holding of the elections there will be necessary at least 24 months as from now ", he considered. (Angola Press Agency, Luanda)

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