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
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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