Political parties not allowed to undertake any form of campaign in the next four days says Ethiopian Election Board
The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced on Wednesday that the deadline for conducting election campaigns for political parties is closed.
Voice of America Amharic service cited communication affairs advisor of the Board, Soliyana Shimeles, as saying that the next four days until the election are designated as a time during which registered voters get information about voting and time to reflect on before making a decision as to who to vote for. She described the next four days as “silence period.”
No campaign is allowed in any form ( including online campaigning) and under any circumstances , according to a statement issued by the Board. And political party programs will not be promoted.
Political parties have been campaigning in the parts of the country where elections will be held on June 21. There are many areas where the election will take place in early September due to logistical and security issues.
The Board also said that media outlets and other stakeholders need to refrain from campaign related coverages and activities, and focus on sharing information.
Asked about a control mechanism against possible violations by political parties with strong media power, Soliyana Shimeles said that is something that will fall on Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority turf,as reported by VOA Amharic. “Our role is to present the information,” she added.
Last week, the Board announced that over 37 million Ethiopians have registered to cast their votes in the sixth general election. Ethiopian Elections that took place before TPLF took power do not seem to be given recognition albeit the five elections that were conducted after TPLF led EPRDF came to power in 1991 exhibited serious irregularities to a point where a 100 percent of votes was claimed by the the ruling party that turned into Prosperity Party as a single party without losing the ethnic politics dominated character of the party.
When undertaking his campaign in the province of his place of birth, Jimma, on Wednesday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that this election will be one that Ethiopia will install Democracy.