Geneva, 11 September 2013 – Countries around the world are too often stifling political opposition instead of embracing it as a tangible and natural sign of a healthy democracy, says the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) ahead of International Day of Democracy on 15 September.
Whether through political parties, mass public dissent or other means, a vibrant political opposition remains a core pillar of true democracy, allowing expression to all voices and opinions within society. However, IPU argues, it is often seen as a threat that has to be stamped out, with tragic and violent results.
“The horrific violence and breakdown in Egypt and Syria, and recent mass demonstrations in several other countries are witness to what happens when people are denied a political voice and are shut out from the political decision-making,” says IPU President Abdelwahad Radi. “Peace, based on social inclusion and cohesion, and democracy are inextricably linked. One cannot exist without the other.”