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HRLHA Strongly Urges the Government to address the Parties’ Concerns and let them Participate in the Election Unconditionally!

Published March 25, 2021, 1:49 p.m. by FNN

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HRLHA Strongly Urges the Government to address the Parties’ Concerns and let them

Participate in the Election Unconditionally!

Two months and ten days are left Ethiopia before it conducts the sixth General Election.
Nevertheless, it is worrisome that the two giant political parties, namely the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), are alleging that they have been facing serious difficulties in taking part in the election due to a series of systematic crackdowns directed against them by the government.It  is  a  public knowledge  that  these  two  parties  have  large  constituencies  in Ethiopia  mainly  in Oromia  Regional  State.  As  far  as  HRLHA’s  knowledge  is  concerned,  the  two parties have  shown  strong  commitments  to  participate  in  the  election  and  were  awarded certificates of  registration  by  the  National  Electoral  Board  of  Ethiopia  (NEBE)  with no  significant  challenge. Concerned  officials  of  both  parties-  whom  HRLHA consulted-  claim  that  they  had  been  making strong  preparations  for  the  election with  a  spirit  of  optimism,  despite  challenges  from  the  early  days. For  example, one OLF  official  stated  that  the  party  had  been  working  towards  the  election  despite arrests  of  its  top  officials  such  as  Yaso  Kebede,  Abdi  Regasa  and  Aman  File  who  have  been languishing  in jail  without  justice  for more  than  a  year and half. 

As  both  parties  contend,  the  political  environment  has  not  improved;  they  expected  to  operate  freely but  that  expectation  has  been  dashed.  The  supporters,  members  and  top  officials  of  both  parties throughout  Oromia  Regional  State  as  well  as  in  the  Oromia  special  zones  and  towns  have  become   the  main  target  of  government’s  crackdown  ever  since  the  assassination  of  Artist  Hachalu Hundessa  back  in  the  late  June  2020.  Almost  all  potential  candidates  of  both  parties  at  all  levels have  been  incarcerated  throughout  Oromia  Regional  State  including  the  capital  Addis  Ababa  as  well as  Dire  Dawa  city.  Some  of  them  have  been  charged  and  most  of  kept  unlawfully  without  charge  in dreadful  conditions.  The  difficulty  the  parties  have  been  facing  regarding  the  election  emanates 


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