May 15, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) is making preparations for the upcoming 2020 Ethiopian national elections, according to the board spokesperson.
According to ENA news, Communication Advisor for NEBE, Solyana Shimelis, said the board has started its 2020 election preparations in advance to ensure the electoral process is free and fair.
Solyana stated that establishing impartial, democratic and fair electoral institution is at the core of the preparations of electoral board.
She said the board is working on three main areas: amending laws and proclamations, establishing dialogue with political parties, and helping civic societies on how to engage on the election process.
“Regarding amending the laws, we have already ratified proclamation on the reinstatement of the Board and we believe that this law will enable us to establish a neutral body,” she said.
“We already started reorganizing the Board at the federal level, and this will be replicated at the regions. Establishing a neutral structure that’s free from any pressure is mandatory for us. So, we believe that the restructuring will be finalized very soon,” she said.
The Board is going from delivering ‘free and fair’ elections to providing ‘genuine and credible’ elections at the root of which lies trust in the Board, she said.
Ethiopia is expected to conduct national election next year as stated in the constitution and which must be conducted every five years.
However, contrary to the board statement, it is unknown if the upcoming elections will be held on time. There are many issues that must be worked out in advance. Chief among these are the deteriorating security situation inside the country, as well as the lack of adequate preparations.
For example, the national census that was supposed to have started earlier this year was indefinitely postponed.
It is also unknown whether the ruling party will deliver on its promise of free and fair elections, especially if it meant that the ruling party will lose its power. The aftermath of 2005 elections is still fresh in the minds of many who saw many election winners go into jail or exile.