News: Five Opposition parties who participated in this week’s general election complain about electoral process

Professor Birhanu Nega, Chairman of Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice(Left),
Professor Beyene Petros, Chairman of Ethiopia Social Democratic Party(Right)
Photo: Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice, VOA Amharic

By Siyanne Mekonnen @Siyaanne

Addis Abeba, June 26, 2021- Five Opposition parties who partook in Monday’s election   complained about the electoral process in different papers of the country. Ethiopian Social Democratic Party,  Balderas for Genuine Democracy, National Movement of Amhara (NAMA), Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (Ezema) and Afar People’s Party accused the ruling party Prosperity Party (PP) of interfering with the process.  

Ethiopian Social Democratic Party demanded the rerun of the election in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR). The chairman of the party Professor Beyene Petros complained that the polling in the SNNPR where the party was a major contestant was full of challenges. According to him, the executives of the National Board of Election (NEBE) and security forces operated in favor of the ruling party, an allegation refuted by the head of the SNNPR wing of  PP. 

Balderas for Genuine Democracy and National Movement of Amhara (NAMA)  expressed discontent with the election. Baldearas reminded that it chose to partake in the elections knowing that the election does not fulfill the minimum international standards and that the outcomes won’t be much different. NAMA also explained that it went in the elections with the belief that the election will be ‘relatively free’.  Balderas accused the ruling party of intimidating the residents of Addis Abeba by parading heavily armed security forces around the city in the days leading to the election. After listing its observations on polling day, Balderas concluded “The election was not free, fair and democratic.” Citing the ruling party’s interference during the elections, in the  Amhara, Oromia and SNNPR regions, NAMA said, “The election dimmed people’s hopes for democracy.” 

Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (Ezema) also reflected the views of the other opposition parties who partook in the election. “Even though the results are yet to be revealed, the June 20 elections were filled with many challenges.”  the party said in a statement. The party also warned that it will take it to court of law if the NEBE won’t look into the complaints it filed. 

The Afar People’s Party, an opposition party who competed for seats in the regional council and the House of People’s Representatives (HoPR).  “We fully reject the whole process of the election and the way it was controlled.” the party said in a statement the day after the election. The party promised that it would disclose the details to the general public and the international community but insisted that the election ‘did not take place in a fair way’. AS

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