By Neamin Ashenafi
The Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum (Medrek) has called for the cancellation and re-election of public observers whom will be tasked with following up and observing the May national election at all levels. The observers’ election was conducted throughout the country on December 21.
During a press conference delivered by Beyene Petors (Prof.), Merera Gudina (PhD) and Gebru Gebremariam, president, head of external affairs and secretary of the party, respectively, the party accused the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) for siding with the ruling party – the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
The press conference that was held yesterday at the headquarters of the party located around Sidist Kilo near the Addis Ababa University main campus focused on different issues surrounding the upcoming election.
According to the president, the major reason to demand for re-election is that the party believes that the candidates who ran for the public observer position have political and partisanship affiliations that is mostly favoring the ruling EPRDF and that the election lacked sufficient publicities to rally the public to voting stations.
In this regard, the president also commented on what would be the possible solution for the problems that the party claims to have plagued the election. “The election must be canceled and re-election should be conducted so that it can achieve its desired goals as per the rules of the game.”
It is to be remembered that, deputy chairperson of NEBE told The Reporter that “despite the allegations, the election of public observers was conducted freely and fairly”.
“We invited all parties to participate in the election of the public observers and to nominate their candidates. If they fail to come, it is not the board’s responsibility,” Addisu told The Reporter.
The board also announced that more than a quarter of a million public observers were elected and that the election of public observers has given the first glimpse to what the public participation might look like in the upcoming election which will be held on May 24.
Currently, Medrek has four member parties which are the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), Sidama Liberation Movement (SLM), Union of Tigreans for Democracy and Sovereignty (Arena) and the Ethiopian Social Democracy- Southern Ethiopia People’s Democratic Union.
Source- The Reporter Addis Ababa