BY MEDIHANE EKUBAMICHAEL @MEDIHANE Addis Ababa, January 23, 2021 — In a letter addressed to the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), said the government’s continued blockade of its headquarters in Addis Abeba using police forces and the closure of several of its branch offices in various places is having undue pressure on the organization’s capacity to organize and participate in the coming elections. The OLF also criticized the neutrality of the Electoral Board for failing to respond to its repeated complaints on the matter for five months.
Signed by its Chairperson, Dawud Ibssa, OLF’s letter recalled the Ethiopian Electoral, Political Parties Registration and Election’s Code of Conduct Proclamation that stipulates a National Political Party registered with the Electoral Board has the right to open branch offices throughout the country and to move peacefully and freely; and the Electoral Board Establishment Proclamation which stated that the National Electoral Board has a responsibility to register, monitor and control in accordance with the law, and to facilitate and ensure the free and fair participation of parties in regular elections, while the Board is also entrusted to examine complaints filed by political parties and make an immediate decision.
However, the OLF says it has not been able to get such solutions from the Electoral Board despite its repeated complaints on several occasions regarding widespread violations of the fundamental rights of political parties by government security forces. The letter mentioned an example of the closure of its branch offices by security forces in many places, and the seizure of its headquarters by members of Addis Abeba Police as of August 1, 2020. Continue reading →