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Oromo Liberation Front faction bluff “ready to register for election”

Ararso Bikila led faction of Oromo Liberation Front seems to claim that it has straightened out the issue that was standing between the organization and the next  general election but it was too late to catch up with NEBE deadline

Oromo Liberation Front Congress

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The Oromo Liberation Front faction led by Ararso Bikila on Wednesday announced that it is ready for legal and peaceful political struggle, and seeks to take part in the sixth general election if allowed. 

It said it undertook the party’s general congress following the split between the leadership, and it made claims that it is the rightful leader of Oromo Liberation Front. It has elected 43 permanent and 5 non-permanent central committee members of the organization. Dawud Ibsa led faction did not recognize the general congress and called it “illegal,” as reported by DW Amharic service. 

While Dawud’s group makes the allegation that the process leading to the party congress and the election of new central committee members was not inclusive, Ararso Bikila’s group  dismisses it as incorrect. The latter group claimed that it has extended invitation for all relevant bodies and members of the organization. Representatives from NEBE were also present during congress – which elected new central committee members, and looks forward to securing legal party status with the Board.  

The deadline set by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) to register party candidates has passed. But Ararso led faction is seeking a reconsideration from the board for, essentially, extension of party candidates after the deadline. 

The other faction of Oromo Liberation Front whose leader is the long-time chairperson of the organization, Dawud Ibsa, last week disclosed that it will not take part in the election. It said the existing situation is not convenient for holding the general election and regarded the spending for the election as a “waste of money.”  The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) on Wednesday said that it has addressed the issues raised by opposition political parties from the last consultative meeting which took place sometime last week. 

What seems to be a difference over strategy of the “struggle” has been rattling Oromo Liberation Front – a radical ethnic Oromo organization that is linked to the series of massacres in the Oromo region of Ethiopia. 

Dawud Ibsa led faction of the organization is believed to have links to the militant wing of the organization, albeit it declared that it has dissociated itself, which is mostly operating in Wollega and Guji zones where there had been recurring massacres of innocent civilians.  

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