33 parties reject draft electoral, political parties proclamation
Some 33 opposition political parties have demanded the cancelation of 20 articles and the revision of 13 articles from the draft Ethiopian Electoral and Political Parties Proclamation which was presented before the House of People’s Representatives (HPR).
These political parties, which issued a statement regarding their difference over the content of the draft proclamation, expressed their frustration during a press conference held at the head office of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Party (EPRP) on Thursday, August 1, 2019.
Apart from demanding the cancelation and revision of articles from the draft proclamation, the leaders of the parties echoed that their concerns and comments were not included in the proclamation. They stated that this was an indicator and an alarm, which would be used as a tool for suppression and puts the impartiality and independence of both the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) and the Council established to amend the existing laws and proclamations in question.
According to the parties, the draft proclamation’s failure to incorporate issues related to what would be the nature of the electoral system of the country is crucial to engage in the political activity. This is also another manifestation of the draft proclamation used as a tool for suppression.
The parties angrily claimed that the petition, which is set by the proclamation at 10,000 and 4000 to establish a national and a regional party respectively, is unacceptable and has derailed the efforts to build a multi-party system in the country. These numbers are also an indication that the winner of the upcoming election is already determined, the leaders of the parties claimed.
In addition, since the content of the draft proclamation presented before the HPR will hinder the rights of the citizens to organize, elect and be elected; affects the interests of all citizens, fate and existence of opposition political parties. The leaders of the parties demanded both the NEBE and the council established, to amend the laws and incorporate the comments provided by the opposition during the previous discussion between the ruling and the opposition parties.
Furthermore, the parties have also presented their request for another round of comprehensive discussions over the draft proclamation in the presence of representatives from the government, the ruling party, opposition parties and all stakeholders. They urged the HPR not to ratify the draft proclamation without rectifying the legal gaps and demands of the opposition political parties.