Competing political parties optimistic about General Elections

 . Express concern on election laws, operations

 BY YOHANES JEMANEH

ADDIS ABABA – The leadership of the competing Ethiopian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) and Enat Party, both are running for parliamentary seats, have expressed optimism about the fairness of the General Elections, whilst mentioned concerns on election laws and operations.

Approached by The Ethiopian Herald, Ethiopian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) Chairperson Beyene Petros (Professor) said that the impartiality of members of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia is greatly enhanced thereby giving hope to the fairness of the election process and outcome.

The open recruitment of election executives and advanced voter registration that assisted by technology is another important move from the NEBE, the veteran politician added.

“In the previous times, a period of election was like a State of Emergency as the laws tighten to the extent that halt peoples’ movement. But things are now improving in comparison.”

“It is impossible to address country’s problems overnight,” the chairperson said, adding that his party is assisting the government to improve shortcomings through providing information and refraining from violence. ESDP submitted a letter to the NEBE to change the recruitment of party-affiliated individuals as executive staffs at polling stations.

On the other hand, Beyene claimed that attacking opposition party nominees and offices has remained a challenge, mentioning his party experience as an example. “The impartiality of the upcoming elections put in a question if the EU or other international observers would not be invited.”

Acknowledging measures the reform government has taken to widen the political landscape, the chairperson highlighted that the current election law has remained a sticking point.

“We have been fighting for years to amend the election laws. Among the articles were the system in which a public servant will participate in an election without any cut off from his salary.”

But the amended law prevents the public servant from salary while participating in an election, he criticized.

By the same token, the law also doesn’t state anything about the role of foreign democracy advocators and observers in the national elections while the opposition parties have been craving for it over years.

Efforts ought to be exerted to revise the election law and improve activities to create conducive political environment in which the political parties can be participated in the election with full confidence, Beyene concluded.

To Enat Party Deputy President Seifeselassie Ayalew (PhD), the reformist administration has a huge responsibility to curtail instability and conflicts that are the legacy of the previous regime.

“The major reason to the local conflicts that has been escalated through time is the wrong political structure that built on ethnic-based federalism.”

Seifeselassie recently told EPA that if his party win the election, it will work to return Ethiopia to its previous glory and ensure all-rounded development through averting internal conflicts, migration and famine. Enat Party will work for the removal of the wrong political system and laws that mainly rely on ethnic based federalism, the deputy president noted.

The Ethiopian Herald April 14/2021

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