100 Ethiopian Political Parties Walked Out of NEBE Meeting

By Staff Reporter

Election-board-Ethiopia-walkoutNovember 29, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- A meeting called by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) to discuss directives of the revised political party registration and code of ethics proclamation has been deferred as leaders of more than 100 political parties walked out of the meeting hall.

In early October this year, members of 70 Ethiopian political parties were supposed to hold a hunger strike this month to pressure the legislative body to reconsider revision to the electoral law. Nevertheless, they did not hold the hunger strike for undisclosed reasons.

The political parties mainly complain over the required number of signatures to form a political party, both at regional and national levels. According to the revised electoral law, any party running for national and regional parliament is required to have at least 10,000 and 4000 registered members, respectively.

Leaders of the political parties refused to attend the meeting claiming that their proposals were not included in the revised electoral law as input contrary to the promise made to them by the electoral board. “Before we discuss directives of the revised political party registration and code of ethics proclamation, our concerns and questions on the revised electoral law must be addressed,” the competing political parties demanded.

NEBE chair Birtukan Midekissa said the issue related to the revised political party registration and code of ethics proclamation is no more the business of the electoral board as it is already endorsed by the Ethiopian parliament and us the law.

“As an election board, we are here to discuss directives to get the revised electoral law implemented with the participation of concerned stakeholders, including political parties,” Birtukan said.

Leaders of the political parties, however, said the input they will give on this round of discussions could also be rejected citing the previous case as an example.

Members of the political parties were told to forward their concerns in another meeting even though Birtukan was quoted as saying that the directive will be approved without the involvement of the political parties.

Meanwhile, the people of the Welayita and Guragae in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples state are demanding prompt responses to their request to transform their zonal administrations into statehood levels.

Members of Zerma and Yelega, a youth group campaigning for the statehood of Guragae and Welayita zones, have celebrated the first year anniversary that the Guragae and Welayita councils approved bills providing for transforming their zones into regional state through panel discussion and conveying messages in T-shirts and banners.

Lamrot Seifu, Gurage’ s Zerma leader, and Ashenafi Kebede, Welayita’s Yelega leader, were quoted as saying that the zones would declare regional states by themselves if the south state’s council continues to be indifferent to their requests.

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