NEBE Challenges OFC Over Jawar Admission; Recognizes Baladera Council

By Staff Reporter  

Jawar-OFCJanuary 23, 2020 ( -- The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has asked the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) to present the necessary legal documents that made them accept Jawar Mohammed, an activist and Director-General of the Oromia Media Network, as a member of the party.

Jawar Mohammed is non-Ethiopian by nationality even though he was a leading organizer of the 2016 Ethiopian protests of the Oromo youth popularly known as Qeerroo that helped Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to come to power in April 2018.

His involvement and aspiration for power in Ethiopian politics has been controversial as the country’s law states that a non-Ethiopian cannot be a member of a legally registered political party in the country. Jawar Mohammed is an Ethiopian born American activist with an estimated 1.75 million Facebook followers among many ethnic Oromos and some other ethnic people.

In a recent interview, he gave to local media, Jawar was quoted as saying that he was in the process of relinquishing his US citizenship to get Ethiopian citizenship instead.

Jawar has been engaged in elections campaign in support of OFC under the chairmanship of the Oromo politician Merrera Gudina after he was officially accepted as a member of the party two weeks ago.

It is unknown when the OFC will provide the paperwork to support its admission of Jawar Mohammed to its ranks.

In another news, the Addis Ababa Baladera Council has announced that it has transformed itself into a political party and recognition by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) as “Baladera for Genuine Democracy”.

“Baladera for Genuine Democracy” has come into reality due to forced circumstances, the chair of the Party Eskinder Nega said right after receiving the registration license from NEBE.

“We were denied to hold meetings, stage demonstrations, and exercise other democratic rights. Our council was accused of missing legal entities to exercise those rights. From now onwards, however, such kinds of pretexts do not work,” he said.

Eskinder has criticized the recent elections schedule issued by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia as “untimely” due to the fragile security situations across the country.

He said the security and stability of the nation should be a prerequisite factor for Ethiopia to hold the elections and called for an extension.

“If the elections are going to take place as per the time table, the nation would plunge into violence,” he argued.  

He said Baladera for Genuine Democracy has got a registration license as a regional party and would form a coalition with political parties with similar political views.

In a recent briefing, Eskinder vowed to win all the 23 parliamentary seats that the Addis Ababa City holds in the House of Peoples Representative of Ethiopia in the forthcoming Ethiopian elections.

He said his office has already selected its candidates and will be running for all the 23 polling stations in the capital.

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