Ethiopian Political Parties Form Panel to Facilitate Dialogue

Ethiopia-Election-PanelMay 25, 2019 ( -- In the run-up to the upcoming elections, Ethiopian political parties have established a five-member panel to facilitate dialogue among themselves, according to ENA report.

The panel formation was facilitated by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), according to the report.

Panel members were elected based on their "political neutrality, professional backgrounds and experience," it was disclosed.

The five members of the panel elected were Dr. Semir Yesuf, Dr. Shiferaw Muleta, Amha Mekonnen, Henok Aklilu and Dr. Tilaye Kassahun.

Despite the uncertainity, the NEBE is preparing for the upcoming scheduled 2020 national elections.

Due to lack of security and persistent stablity issues, many within and outside the government had entertained the possibility of postponing the upcoming elections.

The NEBE came out recently and declared that it is preparing to hold the elections as scheduled, and is estblishing the necessary institutions and infrastructure for free and fair elections.

Contending opposition forces are hoping to change the Ethiopian political landscape from ethnic-based to citizen-based system. Ethiopia has been ruled by ethnic coalition for nearly three decades.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has pledged on numerous occasions that the upcoming elections will be free and fair and that his party will abide by the decision of the Ethiopian people.

Since Abiy Ahmed was elected Prime Minister, Ethiopia has gone through unprecented changes in the last one year. The new government welcomed exiled political forces, freed political prisoners, allowed greater press freedom, and made peace with Eritrea, for which it received wide acclaim nationally and internationally.

However, in the eyes of many, Abiy's government has failed to deliver on some basic issues like rule of law, peace and stablity. Ethiopia has gone through several ethnic and boundary conflicts in the last one year, resulting in millions of displacements and thousands of deaths. Many of the underlying issues remain unresolved.

There is also a lot to be desired in the economic performance of the country as well. According to many reports, the dearth of foreign currency and concerns with security and stablity, especially in some of the regions, has slowed economic activity considerably.



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