Ethiopian Parliament to Approve Revised Electoral Law
By Staff Reporter
August 23, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The House of People's Represetatives is set to hold an extraordinary meeting on Saturday, August 24, 2019, to approve the revised electoral law of Ethiopia.
The extraordinary meeting comes as 57 competing political parties strongly oppose the controversial electoral law which they said did not incorporate their ideas and proposals.
In a meeting on Friday, the political parties demanded the government consider postponing the date the law will be approved, so they can discuss the proposed law once again.
"Despite our repeated requests, the Legal and Jusice Standing Committee of the House of People's Represenaives and the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia have refused to change," Geresu Gessa, Chairperson of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), said at the meeting,
"The electoral law is mandatory for the country to conduct the national elections. Time is against us as we are fast approaching election time. However, political parties want to discuss the electoral law again and again," said government representative.
In March this year, the Ethiopian political parties signed an MoU agreeing to peacefully resolve differences among themselves during pre- and post-election periods, which is coming due in May next year.
'We call upon the government to arrange a discussion forum where the draft law can be discussed among political parties," Geresu said
The Legal and Jusice Standing Committee of the House of People's Representatives said to local media that an emergency meeting will ratify the electoral law after thorough discussions in the presence of competing political parties.
It is to be recalled that, earlier this month, 33 Ethiopian political parties demanded annulment of 20 articles in the new Ethiopian electoral draft law and proposed amendments to 13 others. In a joint press briefing, the political parties said the ruling Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) is once again emerging as oppressive government by rejecting the voices and demands of other political parties.
According to the new electoral draft law, which was tabled for discussion at the national parliament last week, political parties are required to have at least 10,000 registered members, up from the current level of 1500, to be eligible for the upcoming national elections planned to be held in May next year.
According to the new law, regional parties are also required to have higher minimum level of at least 4000 members, up from the current level of 750 members.