Al Mariam’s Commentaries
For months, I have been predicting and warning the U.S. and the European Union are locked in a conspiracy to delegitimize the June 5, 2021 Ethiopian parliamentary election.
In my February 14, 2021 commentary, I laid out my case on the U.S./E.U. conspiracy to “sabotage democratic reform in Ethiopia and undermine confidence in the 2021 Election”.
I provided further explanation on that conspiracy in my March 2, 2021 commentary, “(War)game of Thrones and Delegitimize the 2021 Election”.
We are now beginning to see the wheels of that conspiracy spinning.
On May 3, 2021, Joseph Borrel, Vice President of the European Commission, issued a statement announcing cancellation of deployment of the European Union Electoral Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Ethiopia because “it was not possible to reach an agreement with Ethiopian authorities on key parameters.”
Borrell’s statement provided no inkling on the “key parameters” that prevented an agreement.
However, Ambassador Dina Mufti, the spokesperson of the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, exposed the reasons for the cancellation with crystal clarity:
(Commentary author’s translation.) The reasons the European Union cancelled its observer mission deployment in Ethiopia are clear. They raised two issues. Both issues are anti-Ethiopian sovereignty, affront Ethiopian independence and endanger Ethiopian national security.
First, they insisted on bringing in a technology called VSAT which completely bypasses the Ethiopian telecommunications system.
There are two things to note. Now and in previous times — there have been six previous elections in Ethiopia — such a question has never been presented from any election observer group.
Second, in light of the existing circumstances, all of the locations to be monitored by election observers have full telecommunication access under the national Ethiopian telecommunication system. They can use the system. But they EU EOM wants to deploy a technology that is outside the control and supervision of our national telecommunication system. That is the same as demanding to administer a superordinate telecommunication system in our country. It is clear that is what they want to deploy.
Why they want to have a superordinate telecommunication system is not clear. If their aim is to observe the election, they can do so. The security situation is safe. There is accessibility and there is communication. They are welcome to conduct their observations.
However, they insist on bringing in their own VSAT technology. That is what they are demanding.
Second, they demanded that they be the first to make a statement on the election before the official Ethiopian Elections Commission makes its statement. We said, “You cannot do that.”
Such a demand cannot be met under the election law of any country, in our country or in any foreign country. Even they will not contemplate allowing such a thing in their own country.
Our Election Commission is duly authorized by law to administer elections and issue authoritative statements. It is an independent entity. But they want to override the Election Commission and make the first statement on the election.
From the start, it is the Ethiopian people who certify our election and then the Ethiopian Election Commission, an independent body.
What they are effectively saying is, “You cannot have an election we have not approved.”
These are the reasons why they canceled their observer mission.
It is they who asked to come and observe in the first place. They said they have an observer team ready. But now they concoct these two reasons in refusing to come.
What they are demanding of us as a sovereign and independent country is equivalent of saying, “I come into your house and command, ‘You’ll sleep on the floor. You’ll sleep under the bed. You’ll sit up in the chair all night long.”
There is no country in the world that will allow such a thing.
Unless it is a colony.
Such are the facts.
European Union Election Observer Mission Demands Violate Its Own Code of Conduct and Handbook for European Union Election Observation
The EU EOM has glaringly lacked transparency in disclosing its reasons (“parameters” resulting in disagreement) for cancelling its observer mission.
It is ironic that EU EOM can talk the talk on transparency but cannot talk the walk.
If the EU is going to take such major action and cancel its observer mission after inviting itself (contrary to its own policy, see below) to Ethiopia, it should come clean and tell the world its reasons.
Unless, of course, the cancellation is part of EU EOM’s dirty tricks game being played on Ethiopia.
Let’s look at the facts.
First, the EU EOM’s demand to bring its own VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) is a clear violation of its own rules and principles.
VSAT is a private earth station designed to transmit and retrieve data signals via satellite.
Using VSAT, the EU EOM will be able to establish a completely independent voice, internet and intranet communication system with public and private networks outside of control and oversight of the Ethiopian telecommunication system.
The very first and thirteenth principle of the Code of Conduct for EU Election Observers provide:
1. Observers will respect the laws of the land. They enjoy no special immunities as international observers, unless the host country so provides.
2. Observers must comply with all national laws and regulations.
These principles are prominently affirmed in the Handbook for European Union Election Observation (“Handbook”) (p. 21).
The EU EOM mission statement provides:
EU election observation missions do not interfere in the organisation of the election itself. Instead, they collect and analyse factual information concerning the election process and provide an independent public assessment.”
The EU EOM Handbook (p. 37) dictates:
3.6 Cooperation with the host country EU observers respect and adhere to the laws of the host country. An EU EOM is deployed only after receipt of an invitation from the State and/ or the electoral authorities of the host country. Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between the EU and the host country (usually one with the Election Management Body (EMB) and one with the government) outline the rights and responsibilities of both parties… The MOUs provide guarantees that the EU EOM is able to enjoy the necessary conditions for effective and credible observation which include:
– unimpeded access to all aspects of the electoral process and to all persons concerned with the election;
– the freedom to operate without interference, including the freedom to issue public statements and reports;
– the freedom of movement around the country and conditions that ensure the safety and security of EU observers;
– the issuing of appropriate accreditation by the electoral authorities, which should be provided on a non-discriminatory basis;
– guarantees that there will be no adverse action against its national or foreign staff or others who assist the EU EOM with its work.
3.7 Openness in findings and visibility in work An EU EOM issues a public preliminary statement shortly after voting has been completed (usually within 48 hours) at a press conference, where the Chief Observer is open to questions…
Moreover, the EU EOM specifically describes the role of its mission on election day as follows:
On election day, observers visit pooling (sic) stations in order to observe the opening, voting, counting and aggregation of results.
The facts are:
1) Borrell and EU EOM have flagrantly violated EU-established elections observation Code of Conduct, handbook and policies;
2) the EU EOM under the leadership of Joseph Borrell invited itself to observe the June 5 Ethiopian election without an invitation by the Ethiopian Government in violation of its own Code of Conduct;
3) Borrell and the EU EOM, by demanding exceptional accommodations for deployment of VSAT technology and the right to issue a first statement on the election results, acted in flagrant violation of Ethiopian laws and the legal duties of the Ethiopian Elections Commission in violation breaching its own Code of Conduct and Handbook;
4) by pressuring the Ethiopian government to compromise its sovereignty, independence and right to self-determination, Borrell and the EU EOM violated their own Code of Conduct, Handbook and and international law.
The hypocrisy of the European Union
The EU EOM has a strange history of election observation in Ethiopia.
In its 2005 Final Report, the EU EOM reported, “… the counting and aggregation processes were marred by irregular practices, confusion and a lack of transparency. Overall, therefore, the elections fell short of international principles for genuine democratic elections.
On August 30, 2005, the late TPLF boss Meles Zenawi incinerated the European Union Election Observer Report:
The [EU EOM] statement, in my view, shows that the mission has turned out to be something worse than a farce. We shall, in the coming days and weeks, see what we can do to expose the pack of lies and innuendoes that characterise the garbage in this report. … What the implications of this will be in terms of relations between Ethiopia and the EU we will have to wait and see. But I don’t think you will be surprised if Ethiopia were to insist that it should not be patronised…
After being trashed by TPLF leader Meles Zenawi over the 2005 election, the EU provided millions in budget support to the TPLF regime.
EU EOM slithered back to observe the 2010 election.
In my October 2009 commentary I observed”
It is foolish to believe the ‘2010 election’ will make any difference in the lives of Ethiopians. It is an election about NOTHING; and we should condemn it as a travesty and caricature of democracy and a shameless mockery of popular sovereignty.
The EU EOM did not register a complaint or cancel its observer mission in 2010, despite the fact that the Meles-TPLF regime had humiliated and demeaned it as a bunch of “election garbage reporters”.
The EU EOM knew full well that the 2010 parliamentary election was going to be stolen. They had documented it in 2005. They had every reason to press the TPLF regime to correct the problems and issues in the 2005 election or withdraw from the 2010 observation to preserve their integrity.
But they did not.
They showed to observe the 2010 as if all of the problems in 2005 had been resolved.
In the 2010 election, the TPLF claimed to have won 99.6 percent of seats in parliament. In its 2010 Final Report, the EU EOM stated, “The electoral process fell short of certain international commitments, notably regarding the transparency of the process and the lack of a level playing field for all contesting parties.”
De ja vu 2005!
Ambassador Dina Mufti in his press conference made a critical observation:
It is they [EU EOM] who asked to come and observe in the first place. They said they have an observer team ready. But now they concoct these two reasons to refuse to come.
The Handbook (p. 37) dictates:
3.6 Cooperation with the host country EU observers respect and adhere to the laws of the host country. An EU EOM is deployed only after receipt of an invitation from the State and/ or the electoral authorities of the host country.
For the 2015 election, the EU decided not to send an EU EOM because its previous recommendations to Ethiopia were ignored.
At the time Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Redwan Hussien noted:
“Whatever prescription they made, it had nothing to do with the election. It has to do with the entire democratic system, and legal system and policy issues. So we didn’t subscribe to it because it has nothing to do with elections.”
Joseph Borrell is an ignoramus who has had a special long knife to cut Ethiopia
It is manifest that Joseph Borrell is an ignoramus.
If not, he must think Ethiopians are dumb as hell and won’t be able to figure out his intrigue.
Borrell pontificates about EU EOM integrity, transparency, rule of law, democracy, etc. However, he has not even read the EU EOM Handbook or the Code of Conduct for EU Election Observers which mandate integrity, transparency etc.
Albert Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
I say, “Democracy cannot bloom in Africa not because the ‘African savages’ are incapable of creating and thriving in it, but because of those who carry the White Man’s Burden and toil day and night to make Africa a dangerous place to live for Africans. Regrettably, few have the courage to stand up and do something about it.”
Borrell, a good friend of Tedros Adhanom, (a member of the terrorist organization Tigray People’s Liberation Front) and current Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), has threatened, bullied and made good on his threat against Ethiopia by championing the TPLF terrorist cause.
In December 2020, the EU announced it is “withholding nearly 90 million euros ($109 million) in budget support payments due before the end of the year to Ethiopia because of the conflict in the northern Tigray region.”
Among the conditions to be fulfilled by the Government of Ethiopia for EU Budget Support to resume include: “Granting full humanitarian access for relief workers, access for civilians seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, an end to ethnically targeted measures and hate speech, and restoring communication lines and media access in the Tigray region.”
Borrell said he told Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen that “in particular in the absence of full humanitarian access to all areas of the conflict, the EU cannot disburse the planned budget support to the Ethiopian government.”
The fact of the matter is that Borrell and the EU are violating their own policies, rules and guidelines on budget support:
The EU Budget Support Guidelines (p. 31) provide the specific criteria that must be met for disbursement, which completely negate the “conditions” cited by the EU:
4.1. Eligibility criteria for approval & disbursement
Budget support contracts are subject to the following four eligibility criteria covering:
➔ National/sector policies and reforms (“public policies”);
➔ Stable macro-economic framework;
➔ Public financial management; and
➔ Transparency and oversight of the budget
There is no requirement whatsoever that makes budget support contingent upon humanitarian access, refugees, hate speech and the rest.
The weaponization and politicization of budget support was made crystal clear in November 2020 by Hans Stausboll, head of unit for Eastern Africa, Horn of Africa at the European Commission’s development department
I would … not underestimate the political leverage we have collectively, the EU and the member states, when it comes to using in the appropriate way the financial cooperation in order to support our political goals.”
So, budget support is simply a political tool the EU uses to break the back of Ethiopia and make her lick the stinking boots of the European Union.
Joseph Borrell and the European Union should know one eternal fact: ETHIOPIANS USE BOOTS FOR ONE AND ONE PURPOSE ONLY. KICK ASS!
If they Borrell and the EU don’t believe it, they should ask the descendants of the white Italian colonial imperialists who invaded Ethiopia in 1896 and 1935.
The FIX IS IN! The FIX WAS UNFIXED!
The U.S., with the invisible guiding hand of Susan Rice and the European Union, with the blathering mouth of Joseph Borrell, are working day and night to delegitimize the June 5, 2021 election.
Why are they doing it?
THE U.S. AND THE E.U. WANT TO BE THE KINGMAKERS IN ETHIOPIA. There is no doubt about it!
Here are some facts to consider:
The EU EOM announced its cancellation of its observer mission a month before the election to capture and sustain the narrative that the June 5 election will not be free and fair.
The reason the EU EOM insists on having its own VSAT is for twin purposes: 1) to use the Western press-titutes to spread disinformation on the election and control the international narrative, and 2) to deliver VSAT equipment to TPLF terrorists in Tigray and other terrorists throughout Ethiopia so they could conduct propaganda to destabilize Ethiopia.
The EU EOM desperately wanted to be the sole source of reliable election information to the Ethiopian people and shape public opinion on the outcome of the election by demanding that it be the first to issue a statement.
The EU believes it has bought the political souls of the Ethiopian people by dropping crumbs of $109 million for budget support.
The EU believes only the White Man who colonized the Black African for centuries knows what is best for him.
The EU and the U.S. are scared s**tless that a real democracy — a democracy they have not fabricated, massaged and manipulated, a democracy of African people, by African people, for African people — is going to take place in Ethiopia. What does that mean for the rest of Africa? The African “savages” are finally going to be free following the beacon of Ethiopia!
“Oh! no. The sky is falling on Africa. We gotta save Africans from themselves!”
The EU is declaring and walking out and by doing so send a signal to the Western world that the Ethiopian election not blessed by White men and women cannot possibly be free and fair. After all, the White Man invented free and fair elections.
The Princess of Darkness Susan Rice and her Axis of Evil will toil day and night to discredit and delegitimize the June 5, 2021 election in Ethiopia.
It is said that “Evil never sleeps.”
They are counting on the “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” sold out, lily-livered, chicken-hearted Ethiopians in Ethiopia and in the diaspora to carry their banner and spread their message.
Susan Rice, Jeffrey Feltman, Antony Blinken, Joe Borrell and the whole lot of them can scheme and do their voodoo dance to discredit and legitimize the June 5, 2021 election.
They will fail because we the Forces of Light are foreordained to defeat the Forces of Darkness!
VICTORY TO THE PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA!
Looking forward to dealing with more U.S/E.U. dirty tricks to sabotage the June 5, 2021 election!
My message to Joseph Borrell: Take your “garbage” observer mission along with your budget support and shove it…
I never mince my words.
My short message to Joseph “Dumbbell” Borrell: “Take your “garbage” observer mission along with your “garbage budget support” and shove them up your …
EUROPEAN UNION = ETHIOPIAN DISUNION.
Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino. His teaching areas include American constitutional law, civil rights law, judicial process, American and California state governments, and African politics. He has published two volumes on American constitutional law, including American Constitutional Law: Structures and Process (1994) and American Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights (1998). He is the Senior Editor of the International Journal of Ethiopian Studies, a leading scholarly journal on Ethiopia. For the last several years, Prof. Mariam has written weekly web commentaries on Ethiopian human rights and African issues that are widely read online. He blogged on the Huffington post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alemayehu-g-mariam/ and later on open.salon until that blogsite shut down in March 2015.
Prof. Mariam played a central advocacy role in the passage of H.R. 2003 (Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007) in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2007. Prof. Mariam also practices in the areas of criminal defense and civil litigation. In 1998, he argued a major case in the California Supreme Court involving the right against self-incrimination in People v. Peevy, 17 Cal. 4th 1184, cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1042 (1998) which helped clarify longstanding Miranda rights issues in California criminal procedure. For several years, Prof. Mariam had a weekly public channel public affairs television show in Southern California called “In the Public Interest”. Prof. Mariam received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1984, and his J.D. from the University of Maryland in 1988.