After two days of closed door meeting, Executive Committee of Ethiopia’s ruling coalition passed a decision to conduct national election as planned
August 12, 2019
The executive committee of Ethiopia’s ruling coalition, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), disclosed on Friday last week that the national election will take place as planned.
The party’s decision came amid increasing calls from political pundits and opposition groups for postponement of the election.
There were voices even within the ruling coalition, according to social media source who claim to have insider information, who would like the election to happen in an environment free from major security concerns.
The security situation in the country is one of the major reasons for those who were calling for an extension of the national election date.
From a recent incident in Sidama zone of South Ethiopia, among other regions, the security situation in the country has become a major problem to the point that it has overpowered regular law enforcement units as the government had to mobilize members of the Defense force.
In Sidama zone, the government had to impose a state of emergency like situation on grounds of the security crisis in the region.
Parts of Oromo regional state, especially those areas adjacent to South Ethiopian People’s Nations and Nationalities Region, are not entirely free from security concerns.
In late July 2019, the United States embassy in Addis Ababa issued what it called “level 2 security” alert for its citizens living in Ethiopia. The alert advised U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to Somali region of Ethiopia- and regional authorities were not too happy about it.
On the other hand, there had been a political struggle within the ruling coalition regarding the national election.
Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) treated the talk to postpone the election as “an attack on the constitution” and had been mobilizing its support base in Tigray, North Ethiopia, against possible Federal government move to postpone the election.
Last month, TPLF issued a statement in which, apart from calling ADP to take responsibility for the June 22 killings of top government officials in Bahir Dar and Addis Ababa, it called upon the Federal government to disclose its stand regarding the national election.
National election matter became one of the key agenda items when the executive committee of the ruling coalition held a meeting last week. And as it turns out, the committee ignored security concerns and decided to conduct the election for the 547 parliamentary seats next year, as scheduled.
While TPLF is celebrating it as a triumph, Ethiopians are still expressing concern if the security situation, aggravated by radical ethnic nationalism, is ideal for it.
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