Balderas is set to withdraw its petition seeking the suspension of the sixth general elections due to be held on June 21, 2021 following the issuance of certificates of candidacy to its leaders Eskinder Nega, Sintayehu Chekol, Keleb seyoum and Askale Demele.
Bekalu Atnafu (PhD), Public Relations Head of Balderas, told The Reporter that the reason they submitted the petition to suspend the election was to ensure the registration of its leaders adding now that they have received the certificates of candidacy, they will withdraw the petition when they appear before the Federal High Court First Election Affairs Bench on Monday June 7, 2021.
Bekalu stated that the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) handed them the certificates of candidacy yesterday afternoon.
“We have now settled our case with the NEBE,” remarked the public relations head.
NEBE and Balderas appeared before the Federal High Court First Election Affairs Bench on June 3, 2021 following NEBE’s request to be given a chance to explain its predicament in registering the Balderas leaders as per the decision by the Cassation Bench of the Federal Supreme Court a fortnight ago.
During that court session, Chairwoman of the Board, BirtukanMideksa,said that the certificates of candidacy would be ready by June 4, 2021.
Bekalu stated that the Chairwoman lived up to her words by issuing the certificates on the specified date.
In the June 3 court session, Henock Aklilu, a member of the party leadership and its lawyer, told the court that they have already complied with the Board’s order to produce the photographs of the new candidates for registration.
He added, “We can only be sure when we receive the certificate of candidacy.” Despite the fact that the process of issuing certificate of candidacy takes only 30 minutes, Henock complained to the court, the Board has failed to do so.
During the session, Birtukan explained to the Court that the Board had to discard 1.3 million ballot papers earmarked for the constituencies in which the Balderas leaders are expected to run.
She further pointed out that the Board flagged printers to complete printing the new version of ballot papers within three to four days. Birtukanrevealed that the whole process has cost the Board around 3.5 million birr.
After hearing both sides, the court adjourned the case for Monday June 7, 2021 to determine if the Board has issued the certificates of candidacy.
The issuance of the certificates is expected to bring the row between NEBE and Balderas to a swift conclusion.