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EZEMA says situation in Oromo region impossible to make election fair, free

EZEMA accuses the ruling party of having intention to run in the Oromo region without any competing political parties

Dr. Berhanu Nega, Leader of Ethiopian Citizens For Social Justice Party,EZEMA. (Photo credit : EthioTube)

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Ethiopian Citizens For Social Justice Party (EZEMA), one of the leading opposition parties that is not based on ethnicity,  on Friday said that the situation in the Oromo region of Ethiopia is difficult to make the upcoming election free and fair. 

In a statement it released it said that EZEMA is experiencing different pressures while carrying out its election campaign in the region.

“However, the Party will continue although, under existing circumstances, we observe conditions that the Prosperity Party is determined to run alone for the election in the region,” EZEMA added. 

The party alleges that candidates it fielded in district levels are receiving death threats  and harassment. The security situation in some parts of the region is unreliable to the point that the Party is unable to register a candidate. 

Registered candidates are threatened either to cancel their candidacy or abstain from the election. 

Girma Moges, Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice party (EZEMA) senior officer in Bishoftu, a city just 44 kilometers south-east of Addis Ababa, was murdered last month. And the murder is believed to be politically motivated. 

The security situation in East and West Wollega and Benishangul Gumuz region is one that could make the election impossible, said the party. Moreover, the ruling Prosperity Party henchmen in those regions are hassling the electorate. 

The party has appealed to the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia to register candidates under special circumstances in the areas where registering candidates was not possible for security reasons. 

Regarding the security situation, it was reported this week that the militant wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) massacred dozens of unarmed ethnic Amhara residents in the Horo Guduru zone of the Wollega area of the Oromo region. Authorities of the Oromo regional state have confirmed the latest round of killings of ethnic Amhara in the region. 

EZEMA disclosed that it has fielded 1,385 candidates across the country. 

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