August 25, 2019
Ethiopian Parliament whose members are entirely from the ruling coalition called an emergency meeting on Saturday to debate and approve draft legislation which will govern elections, political party formation and ethics.
The bill was prepared by Law, Justice and Democratic Affairs standing Committee in the parliament. The committee amended 149 articles including the name of the draft bill, according to state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC)
The House of People’s Representative endorsed the bill unanimously after debate on the draft.
FBC report said that “Ethiopian Election, Political Parties Registration, and Election Ethics” is the new name given to the proclamation.
Political parties activities, candidates activities, legal activities during election and use of mass media are among the issues amended in the legislation.
Ethiopian government hopes that the new legislation is useful to conduct a peaceful, fair and democratic election. The government also hopes that it will facilitate for the emergence of strong political parties in the country, says Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) report that was published on Saturday, August 24, 2019.
One of the issues that generated a fair deal of debate from the proposed amendments was regarding election results between male and female Candidates.
The draft proposed wanted to make female candidates winners if they happen to get an equal number of votes in the election. However, the parliament rejected it on grounds that it violates the very concept of gender equality.
It was also agreed in the parliament that the House could enact guidelines so as to implement the new legislation but it will be the national election board of Ethiopia that will implement it.
FBC report added that the new legislation contains provisions to deal with disputes that arise from the election process, procedures for the formation of political parties, and formation of a coalition between political parties, among other things.
Aspiring new party national party, not regional, should have at least 10 thousand members to get recognition as a political party. And a new regional party need to have at least 4 thousand members for its formation.
With regards to candidates, if they happen to be in the public service, they will need to resign temporarily until the completion of the election. However, they will not get salaries and benefits.
Public servants will not be allowed to make use of government property should they decide to run in the election too, as reported by Ethiopian News Agency (ENA)
Ethiopian ruling coalition (EPRDF) has recently disclosed that the national election will take place in 2020 as scheduled.
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