EDP urges to postpone upcoming election
The National Council of the Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP), which recently was in a legal battle with its former chairman and other members of the party and henceforth recognized as the legal representative of the party by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has urged for the postponement of the upcoming general election by at least two years.
It is to be recalled that the Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa and local elections, which were postponed due to the political instability, have been scheduled to take place in May 2020.
In a press briefing held on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, the leaders of the party, apart from the upcoming general election, also reflected on numerous political issues including the current internal status of the party, the planned upcoming general assembly of the party, and the current affairs of the country.
“Even though the party has urged for the postponement of the election; if the election is going to be conducted, according to the planned schedule, the party will participate,” former president and current member of the National Council, Lidetu Ayalew told journalists during the presser.
In light of the above statement made by the leaders of the party, The Reporter asked if these two decisions were contradictory to each other.
“Even though we were not convinced that free and fair elections will take place during the former EPRDF, we have participated in previous elections because we believe that taking part in the process will help the public. Therefore, our decision to take part in the upcoming general election is also to reduce the election related turmoil and to make the public aware of our alternatives. But, above all, we don’t let different radical groups use the forum to disseminate their divisive agendas,” Lidetu replied.
In addition, the party expressed its concerns regarding the ongoing reform in the country and stated that due to different reasons, the reform is losing its track and is almost aborted.
The reasons provided to justify the claim of the party are, after the change tough the transition was supposed to be led by all political actors; the leadership of the EPRDF tries to address all the issues alone as usual. In this regard, requests made by the EDP for the establishment of a transitional commission were rejected. This is the first flaw that the transition faces, the party lamented.
Another justification is the absence of a clear roadmap about the transition and the failure of addressing major structural issues that cause different political turmoil in the country including the constitution and the ethnic based federal arrangement.
“Without addressing these structural problems in the country, it is impossible to talk about transition or change. And in this regard, there is no promise to amend the constitution and change the existing ethnic based federal arrangement,” the seasoned politician Lidetu replied.