Tag Archives: Election postponement

History May Look Back on this time as Needless Moment:       Addis Fortune editorial

16 Jun

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

If the rippling effects of granting the incumbent an extension of its full power based on a contested deliberative political and constitutional process was not apparent, there have been signs of ill omen over the past week.

Three major opposition parties – the Oromo Federalist Congress, Oromo Liberation Front and the Ogaden National Liberation Front – have warned of an increase in tensions. In the case of the first two, the consequence could be a return to public discontent and possible eruptions of anti-government protests that “could transform into violence,” according to a joint statement they released…

Unwittingly, a process stewarded by Chief Justice Meaza granted a legal closure to what is essentially a political deadlock. History will remember her and those legislators who have voted in favour of their decision needlessly.

 

It is characteristic of the general climate of confusion the year 2020 has set in Ethiopia and the global stage in general. There is an air of melancholy.

In just a few months, the spirit of the Constitution was afforded as much respect as its intent was devalued. The circumstances were at first ominous.

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), citing disruptions caused by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, decided to postpone the much anticipated national elections, which were slated for August. It was a fateful decision that failed to pass the test of considerable and thoughtful reflections.

But it set off a substantive and rewarding debate on the letter and spirit of the Constitution, with legal scholars reflecting on the possibilities and implications of postponing the elections. No less encouraging was to see the Council of Constitutional Inquiry (CCI) hold a hearing chaired by Chief Justice Meaza Asheanfi, president of the Supreme Court, for legal and constitutional experts to add to the discussion. It was an uplifting exercise of the sort rarely witnessed in the country’s political history. Continue reading

Ethiopia’s postponed elections: Governing the interrregnum

14 Apr

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Adem Kassie Abebe

Addis Abeba, April 14/2020 – The COVID-19 Pandemic has its first electoral casualty in Africa after Ethiopia announced the indefinite postponement of preparations for general elections for members of the House of Peoples’ Representatives (parliament) and Regional Legislative Councils, originally slotted for 29 August 2020.

Ethiopia’s 2020 elections are expected to be the most free, fair and competitive since the ill-fated 2005 elections, which ended with a post-election violence, the detention or exile of opposition leaders and journalists, and overall cementing of authoritarianism.

There is hope, but also anxiety that the 2020 elections may similarly herald in a combination of authoritarianism and worsening of lawlessness and instability.

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