Ethiopian Political Parties Council Opposes New Electoral Law

By Staff Reporter

Ethiopia-electoral-lawAugust 31, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The Council of Ethiopian Political Parties has opposed the recently approved electoral and political parties' proclamation. The council said the proclamation has not been participatory enough and deliberated well.

In a meeting it held on Friday, the joint council of the political parties said the new electoral and political parties’ proclamation has made the political space tougher than it was even before.

The new electoral and political parties' proclamation which was endorsed last Saturday requires political parties to secure 10,000 signatures to run for seats at the national level and 4000 signatures for regional offices.

The Chairperson of the Ethiopian Political Parties Council, Mussa Adem, commented that the law drafting did not include contesting political parties as they should have been. “It has made competition unfairly tougher.”

“Our stand is to bring better solution and create fair political space to all contesting political parties. All we need is to create better-informed people and better country. As a group, we have no any bad intention. We want the general public to understand this very well,” Mussa said.

Mussa Adem from the Afar People’s Party (APP) was elected Chairperson of the Joint Council of Political Parties in April this year.

According to the chairperson, the proposal and recommendations suggested by the joint council were not incorporated in the new law.

It must be recalled that, soon after the draft law was tabled, thirty-three Ethiopian political parties demanded the annulment of 20 articles in the new Ethiopian electoral draft law and amendments to 13 others.

The political parties filed complaints on a total of 35 articles and 59 sub-articles in the amended version. However, the Justice, Democracy and Legal affairs Standing committee of the parliament retained the stringent requirements to form national and regional political parties.

The committee argued that in a nation of 110 million people, any political party claiming a national following must at least secure 10,000 signatures. Otherwise it could hardly be called representative.

Members of the opposition council described the amended new electoral law as unclear and confusing. “Are we fulfilling the desire of the public? Can we minimize the number of contesting political parties based on the comment of the general public? I believe it is difficult to implement the new political parties’ registration and electoral law of the nation,” said one of the participants

“The house of peoples’ Representatives needs to bring a system that helps us to contribute our share to strengthen the democratization process in the country,” another member of a political party said

The joint Council is expected to submit a list of complaints to the House of Peoples' Representatives and wait for reply once again.

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