MEP Disappointment At Spain's Ban On Bildu

03 May 2011
Scottish Member of the European Parliament, Alyn Smith, has today expressed his disappointment and frustration at the decision of the Spanish authorities to prevent peaceful, democratic parties from participating in forthcoming elections.

The MEP condemned the decision as wrong in principle, undemocratic and contrary to the core values of the European Union.

On Sunday the Spanish Supreme Court decided to ban the Bildu coalition from standing in forthcoming local and provincial elections in the Basque Country on the pretext of alleged links to extremists. Yet the coalition includes democratic parties committed to a peaceful resolution of the Basque conflict and who have previously condemned violence.
Smith, a member of the European Parliament's Basque Friendship Group, said:
"This decision by the Spanish Supreme Court is very worrying. The Bildu coalition was formed following an agreement amongst legal parties who support non-violent progress towards a peaceful resolution of the Basque conflict.

"Banning this coalition which seeks to achieve its goals through exclusively legitimate means, represents a direct attack on the right to hold free and fair elections, and the right to participate freely in the political process.

"This decision risks depriving Basque voters of a truly democratic choice at the forthcoming elections and could jeopardise a fragile peace process."