Dissenting voice in the parliament was not adequate to disapprove the proposal to hold the sixth Ethiopian General Election
September 22, 2020
The Ethiopian parliament on Tuesday approved a proposal to hold the sixth General Election during this Ethiopian Year (2013). The decision was made after the Ministry of Health advised the parliament on Friday that the postponed general election could take place under special conditions.
When the Ethiopian election was officially postponed on in June based on a recommendation from the Commission of Constitutional Inquiry, a body instituted to interpret the constitution to find a legal loophole for the postponed election, it was recommended that the election could take place between nine months to one year after the coronavirus pandemic, the reason for the postponement of the election, was declared no more a health threat.
The Minister for health, Lia Tadesse, did not say that the Coronavirus pandemic is no longer a public health threat when she appeared in the parliament last Friday. However, she said that the ministry had developed the capacity to identify and prevent Coronavirus cases and that the election could take place under specific circumstances.
The Parliament discussed the election on Tuesday based on the recommendation from the Ministry of Health about the possibility of holding the capacity this year. What it means is that the election will be prepared in consideration of prevention methods for the spread of Coronavirus disease.
One member of the parliament voted against the proposal while eight others abstained. The election date is yet to be announced by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE).
Government’s decision to hold an election this year is not taken lightly by some of the opposition political party leaders. Professor Merera Gudina, leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress, for example, has expressed skepticism about the government’s change of mind with regard to the sixth general election.
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