ADDIS ABABA-Contestant parties have underlined that making the upcoming elections democratic, free, credible and participatory would lay a democratic cornerstone for Ethiopia and future generations.

The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) communications advisor Soleyana Shimeles said it is well recognized that the NEBE is authorized to provide the legal, regulatory and operational scaffold for the conduct of elections. NEBE operational preparations for the 6th General Elections are well underway and some 50,000, 000 electorates are expected to take part in.

Asked about in what way problems of counterfeit if any, are addressed, Soleyana elucidated that there are many ways devised by the board to mitigate the deception taken place on election materials and to well identify them.

NEBE is going to well apply various frauds identifying and mitigating ways to make the election process complete and making the results of the election credible among Ethiopian population. These counterfeit identification and mitigation ways will be well incorporated at all chapters and phases, she added.

The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) spokesperson, Tolara Adeba on his part said that we came to a peaceful struggle setting the armed one aside assuming that the government is committed to and well

ready than ever to conduct a fair, free, participatory and democratic national elections.

The NEBE is expected to make conditions conducive for all and invite all contestant parties to play their respective roles treating them equally and fairly. Besides, the government has to widen the political landscape to get all contestant parties freely run their activities and take part in the election by freely disseminating their idea and manifesto at any convenient time and place for them.

He also said that bureaucratic red tapes should also be corrected; there shouldn’t be a ban on other parties’ movements. For instance, some offices of ours are closed, and some of our members are detained.

Parties shouldn’t say ‘only our idea needs to be well heard and entertained.’ There should be free completion and the field needs to be made open for all, then the electorate decide, he added.

The public should be informed in a civilized way that “Elect what you think is democrat, workable and responsible, and the way parties preach needs to be like this. All parties including the ruling one must act accordingly. Such constructive works need to be framed and well entertained,” said Tolosa.

Tigistu Awolu, Unity for Democracy and Justice Party Chairman, also expressed that they have planned to well introduce themselves and sell their idea, mainly to move in cooperation with others, merge or otherwise.

The first past the post-election system does have its own serious weaknesses as it was monopolizing and marginalized instead of being mixed and parallel one, which gives votes value, he said.

According to Tigistu, whatever the cost may be, the election should be democratic, fair, free and reliable. Otherwise, it shouldn’t be acceptable even if it is mixed and parallel like what TPLF conducted in the state recently. It was not democratic, as they followed what they accustomed to earlier–the first past the post.

There should be common understating and agreement among parties to come up with democratic election thinking out of the box–ethnocentric package so as to solve piled up problems. We have to reach on consensus politically and legally as we do have a good nation common to all–Ethiopia, Tigist accentuated.

Conducting round table discussion is of paramount importance in addressing all pitfalls and helps the nation build democracy and conduct democratic and reliable election, he suggested.

The postponed national elections following the outbreak of COVID-19 needs to be conducted keeping the national precautionary measures the Ministry of Health cascaded in a bid to combat the spread of the pandemic, all opined.

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