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Ethiopia Opposition Parties Demand Fair Elections

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11/09/12

  11:35:49 am, by admin, 405 words  
Categories: Politics

Ethiopia Opposition Parties Demand Fair Elections

File Photo: Ethiopian Election 2005

Unified Ethiopian Opposition Demands Fair Elections

By Martha van der Wolf

VOA News

ADDIS ABABA
— Thirty-four Ethiopian opposition parties have signed a petition to demand the elections next April - on the district, regional and city levels - be free and fair.

Opposition parties were invited by the Election Board last week to discuss the schedule of the polls. When the parties asked to discuss irregularities that occurred during previous elections, the meeting was adjourned.

Alessa Mengesha, chairman of the Gedeo People’s Democratic Organization opposition party, says several issues need to be discussed in depth.

“We have seen elections in Ethiopia in the past couple of years and decades, and those elections have always been marked by irregularities. And those irregularities include irregularities during voting registration, irregularities during election campaigns, irregularities during vote-counting and even post-election irregularities," he said. "We have witnessed all those.”

Thirty-four of Ethiopia's 75 opposition parties have signed a petition demanding the next vote be free and fair.

The petition lays out 18 points of how the Election Board can ensure a better process. Among other things, the parties say they want to be involved in the election administration, and request equal access to government media.

Asrat Tassie, secretary-general of the Unity for Democracy and Justice party, the only opposition party that holds a seat in parliament, says it is very important that the opposition can freely name and put in place their own election observers.

“A candidate has its own observers. So what happens is they ask the names of those observers 10 days before the election. So as soon as the election board receives the names of those observers, the government harasses them," he said. "Some will be arrested; some will be chased out of the town and so on. So we don’t want to give them the names of our observers.”

European Union observers said the previous election in 2010 fell short of international standards. They said resources of the state were used to support the campaign of ruling party EPRDF, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front. The ruling party and its allies won all but one seat in the 546-member parliament.

The elections of 2005 resulted in mass demonstrations against the government. Nearly 200 people were killed in election-related violence, and dozens of people, including prominent opposition leaders, are still imprisoned.

The Election Board said it has received the opposition parties' petition but needs more time to respond to the demands.

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Comment from: sf [Visitor]
sf

To all,
“Thirty-four of Ethiopia’s 75 opposition parties have signed a petition demanding the next vote be free and fair.”
Look all this idiot oppostion parties, after 20 years they sing the same song.
Woyanne or TPLF and their CADRES will not hear you and will not allow you this to happen. Don’t ask your rights to be respected but be ready to be real oppositions and fight them back.

11/10/12 @ 01:35
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]
TEDDY

What a Joke !!! By the way is there really a “FREE” election Board .An
agazi bandits institution based on printing fake ballots ,creating fake electors and publishing Fake Results .The so called Opposition groups ,better for them ,they spare their precious times on more useful struggle and political activities .Than expecting a positive gesture from an Agazi Bandits Institution of Repression .

11/10/12 @ 01:42
Comment from: C'est moi senait [Visitor]
C'est moi senait

The only free and fair election weyannes and their supporters charities understand is a bullet in their head. That is a pure and right decision to guaranty the future free and fair election.
By terminating a few weyanne Hoddams in the streets of Addis like EPRP did to Derg bucchila with bullets in their head,that my fellow true and pure Ethiopia is the only solution to final goal.

11/10/12 @ 02:18
Comment from: abba [Visitor]
abba

C’est moi

You brought up an interesting point. EPRP started red terror. But look eventually what happened to EPRP. They were crusheded. So make sure don’t repeat the same mistake. Don’t pick a fight when you know you lose for sure.

11/10/12 @ 02:37
Comment from: Gebru [Visitor]
Gebru

@ Martha van der Wolf

I was surprised by the (Opposition-Groups) After the U.S Election bought this agenda. Thanks ! GOD. Obama has re-elected for second term, Ms. susan Rice still an ambasador to the U.N so far from U.S side nothing change, but the only change we are looking is from you. Right now I don’t think any wel-organized opposition groups out there in the diaspora to lead our country (Ethiopia), because most of them depends on America, Canada, G.B (The West) I don’t think they will be sucessful based on this kind of Ideology “we believe in the western democracy” , but without taking any risk ???

11/10/12 @ 04:03
Comment from: Gebru [Visitor]
Gebru

@ TEDDY [Visitor]

“By the way is there really a “FREE” election “
To answer your question NO ! Why don’t you ask the Americans after all this years (200 plus) Americans still struggling for vote mis-handling, and voting right especially Florida, and Ohio. One another thing I have to say Thank you ! for telling the truth “The so called Opposition groups ,better for them ,they spare their precious times on more useful struggle and political activities.” you are 100 % right !!! that is what I’m saying for them thinking someone to put them in power why they are not taking the risks of politics ? by back to the BASE ? as far as I know they (Ethiopian government opposition groups in the diaspora) are selfish, Idiot, opportunistic.

11/10/12 @ 04:25
Comment from: Girma [Visitor]
Girma

Martha van der Wolf,

What is your point? This news was on different Ethiopian Radios, TVs, News papers, blogs and so on weeks ago. This is the Ethiopian news not yours.

Why don’t you wake up and face the reality. The old type of journalism doesn’t work in the internet and mass media era. Today’s as well as tomorrow world doesn’t need any foreign journalist in any nation. Everyone is today doing the best journalism wok than the so called western professional journalists including this lady.
They are covering the news not based on with it objectivity but with subjective approach based on their own agenda in somebody else country. Most western journalists have connection with their country security, foreign office, business groups and other interest groups in a nation doesn’t belong to them.

Few years ago, many nations especially the developing had no even nationwide coverage domestic radio, TV or news paper Medias let alone international ones. If they want the world to know about them, they had no other choice but using or allowing the western media coverage mostly England and USA to do it the way they liked it. But today, each and every nation has own national, regional and international media capability. So, for this reason, no foreign media and journalist needed in any country in the 21-century where internet is the best media coverage all over the world.

Yet, VOA which is a USA mouth shit since the cold war is still here.
Go to home, lady and find another job. Today is everyone a Journalist. The old journalism school in London and USA is not relevant anymore. The story coverage around the world that was done by England and USA Biased and inhuman journalism coverage doesn’t work this time. Because it will be encounter and exposed with the truth by every nation that has her own national as well as international media coverage.

11/10/12 @ 05:46
Comment from: mesfin_b [Member]  
mesfin_b

ሰላማዊ ትግል ሁልግዜ እድል ማግኘት አለበት::

ይህ ውጤት ሳያገኝ ሲቀር ደግሞ ሃይላዊ ትግል ግዴታ ነው::
ዳሩ Teddy እና Ce moi Cenait እንደ ጠቀሱትም
ሊሆን ይችላል!!!

*******************
ለማንኛውም ህዝባዊ መንግስት ስልጣን እንዲረከብ ሁኔታዎችን ማዘጋጀት የተቃራኒ ፓርቲዎች ቅድሚያ እቅድ መሆን አለበት ::
*******************

11/10/12 @ 07:49
Comment from: Mr. More [Visitor]
Mr. More

+++++++++++++++++++++ we need more opposition party, at least 1000 ++++++ This is crazy! why all think wanna lead Ethiopia???

11/10/12 @ 08:55
Comment from: berta [Visitor]
berta

election board asks more time untill TPLF cadres manage to arrest, oppotion leaders

11/10/12 @ 11:27
Comment from: Dave [Visitor]
Dave

How on earth have 34 opposition parties for this bad gov’t? I was expecting 2 or 3 strong unified party to challenge this EPDRF. I know everybody wants to be a party as party for his/her own house than for this poor country. Please when you become a party think about as country level than a personal interest.

11/10/12 @ 12:26
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]
TEDDY

Gebru you are not smart enough the way you are trying to distort my opinion .What I really mean it’s a waste time to the so called oppositions groups dealing with a bandit mafia firm (TPLF) which shall never render the power in a pecaeful way with a civilised manner .Afterall all the qualifications you are supposing sticking on the Patriotic oppositions groups concern your own Agazis with their opportunist Bandas .

11/10/12 @ 13:55
Comment from: Gemech [Visitor]
Gemech

I think, whether we support or oppose the EPRDF, We must all agree that Ethiopia needs a strong opposition party or parties with alternative policies to that of the ruling party. But 75 is a number more suitable for the saying, “Too many cooks spoil the broth", rather than a recipe for a successful bid for power.

One can raise various problems associated with the existence of so many political parties in the country.

a) There will be 75 different party policies that the voting public will have to scrutinise in order to choose the one that answers the burning issues of the land. When we know even the American public finds it difficult and at times confusing to choose between two parties with almost distinctive policies on major issues, it is not difficult to see the difficulties 75 different policies pose to the electorate of Ethiopia:-
b) It indicates that they all have differing views of what it means to be a political party.
C) It is also a sign that they might also disagree on how to remove the ruling party.(Armed struggle, TEDDY’s choice (LOL), or the ballot box.)
d) It is evident that not all agree on what it is that the GOF is doing wrong that they want to fix when they get to power.
e) The fact that in 20 years they are still widely dispersed and amorphous in shape, and that only 34 of them have accepted the constitution and are willing to work with the government to bring about reforms that they think are lacking, means there are 41 others who have decided to remain on the fringes of the Ethiopian politics. And if they can’t settle their differences what chance is there that the will address other problems in the society and unite the rest of the population on what is to be done to get Ethiopians out of poverty,
f) Above all it indicates that the individual parties are led by self-centred, and conceited individuals who want to compete for power based solely on their merits on the grounds that they are educated or have come from a line of rulers.

So far the only discernible common unifying factor is the hated they display against the ruling party’s coalition partners, typically, the TPLF. But that is not enough to become a power contending party.

If they don’t narrow down their differences and form one or two strong party or parties, come the election time they will be lucky if they get one or two MPs elected to the parliament as they will not only compete with the strong EPRDF but also with each other for votes. This is true even if the election is made to be free and fair as they alleged it isn’t
It is useless to cry foul and ask Europe and the US to come and remove the government for them before putting their own house in order. The end result will be running to America and form yet another opposition party that will ask diaspora Ethiopians for money

11/10/12 @ 14:40
Comment from: Gemech [Visitor]
Gemech

I think, whether we support or oppose the EPRDF, We must all agree that Ethiopia needs a strong opposition party or parties with alternative policies to that of the ruling party. But 75 is a number more suitable for the saying, “Too many cooks spoil the broth", rather than a recipe for a successful bid for power.

One can raise various problems associated with the existence of so many political parties in the country.

a) There will be 75 different party policies that the voting public will have to scrutinise in order to choose the one that answers the burning issues of the land. When we know even the American public finds it difficult and at times confusing to choose between two parties with almost distinctive policies on major issues, it is not difficult to see the difficulties 75 different policies pose to the electorate of Ethiopia:-
b) It indicates that they all have differing views of what it means to be a political party.
C) It is also a sign that they might also disagree on how to remove the ruling party.(Armed struggle, TEDDY’s choice (LOL), or the ballot box.)
d) It is evident that not all agree on what it is that the GOF is doing wrong that they want to fix when they get to power.
e) The fact that in 20 years they are still widely dispersed and amorphous in shape, and that only 34 of them have accepted the constitution and are willing to work with the government to bring about reforms that they think are lacking, means there are 41 others who have decided to remain on the fringes of the Ethiopian politics. And if they can’t settle their differences what chance is there that the will address other problems in the society and unite the rest of the population on what is to be done to get Ethiopians out of poverty,
f) Above all it indicates that the individual parties are led by self-centred, and conceited individuals who want to compete for power based solely on their merits on the grounds that they are educated or have come from a line of rulers.

So far the only discernible common unifying factor is the hated they display against the ruling party’s coalition partners, typically, the TPLF. But that is not enough to become a power contending party.

If they don’t narrow down their differences and form one or two strong party or parties, come the election time they will be lucky if they get one or two MPs elected to the parliament as they will not only compete with the strong EPRDF but also with each other for votes. This is true even if the election is made to be free and fair as they alleged it isn’t
It is useless to cry foul and ask Europe and the US to come and remove the government for them before putting their own house in order. The end result will be running to America and form yet another opposition party that will ask diaspora Ethiopians for money

11/10/12 @ 14:40
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]
TEDDY

Gemetchetch ,who cares whether there will be 75 or 750 parties running the election against your looter agazis .The only choice is that we can not remove agazi bandits in a peaceful way and a civilised manner .Of coursesoon or later , ARM STRUGGLE shal be the last solution .

11/10/12 @ 16:30

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