New Rules for Ethiopia’s 2010 Elections Reportedly Agreed On – By James Butty (VOA)

October 29th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Opposition groups in Ethiopia and the ruling party of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi have reportedly agreed to new rules for next year’s elections.

The new electoral laws reportedly outline campaigning, voting and party symbol guidelines and how to deal with intimidation and violence and call for the establishment of a panel to handle election disputes.

Berhanu Nega, a former leader of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) and now a member of the Ginbot 7 said Ethiopia is not a conducive country for democracy.

“All the issues that make a democratic election do not exist in Ethiopia at this time, starting from the independence of the election board, the independence of the military and the police, judiciary all are in the pocket of the ruling class. And in the absence of a fair and leveled playing ground there is no meaning in an election,” he said.

Nega said the 2010 election will most likely be similar to the 2008 local election when he said Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s ruling party won 99 point nine percent of the vote.

He said two of the opposition parties that reportedly agreed on the new rules for next year’s election were created by the government.

“You know there are three parties who participated in this. Two of them are the parties created by the ruling party. So these are not serious parties. This is just simply to show to the gullible international community that there is some election taking place. But nobody in Ethiopia is taking it seriously at all,” he said.

Nega said his party would not take part in what he described as a sham election in 2010 election.

“I think by now Africans are aware what actually is going on in the name of elections. Elections are supposed to be mechanisms through which popular will would be reflected. But in our continent in most countries, especially in Ethiopia, it has become an exercise in futility,” he said.

Nega was elected mayor of Addis Ababa in the 2005 election, but he and other opposition leaders were later jail after the government charged them with genocide and treason.

He said since 2005 Ethiopia has turned into a totalitarian state and that the only option for most Ethiopians is to remove the government.

“Even by African standards, this is a suffocating dictatorship that has completely the life out of Ethiopian politics and for most Ethiopians now the only way out of this political quagmire is to get rid of this government by one means or another,” he said.

Nega concord his comments would be interpreted as seeking the overthrow of the Meles Zenawi government.

“I am very, very clear and ardent than this. Unless otherwise people are free they cannot solve their basic economic problems…we have a very unpopular government, despotic government. Unless otherwise people start to take responsibility for their lives, I don’t think you’re going to make significant change in the economic wellbeing of the people,” Nega said.

He said the recent famine in Ethiopia is the result of the Meles Zenawi government being much more interested in staying in power rather than developing the country and saving the people.

  1. JIGSA
    | #1

    yes the ethiopian people are under defacto dectatorial corrupt regime who stole the 2005 election.since the current tribalist regime is illegal the ethiopian people has every right to remove them from power which dey occupay since 1991.for 19 years dey destroy the fabric of the ethiopian people looted everything now dey are planing to sell the poor ethiopian farmers land.the opposition must prepare the ethiopian people to take their country back from barberic regime of melesse zenawi and his mafia group now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. peace
    | #2

    Very good, It is a good time now for Ethiopians inside and outside to exaggerate the famine to foreign governments and embarssing them to the contribution of this famine because they collaborated with dictator. It is upto Ethiopians to use this opportunity!

  3. abegaz
    | #3

    good news. but the gutless birhanu nega sitting in america and telling everybody what to do is very funny. It shows how low this guy can be.

  4. aha!
    | #4

    I agree with what the foreign corrospondent cited about you said about the totalitarian nature of the current regime, after the 2005 election and what need to be done about it. Having said that you undermined KAEUP’s stand in terms of 8-point pre-conditions for fair and free elections, while you spared any criticism UDJP and/or Medrek, who have no ultimatum or any genuine peaceful struggle, who were only seeking for pressure to be put with the current regime for political space, for the current regime to show democratic reform and adhere to to its own constitution about election, until lately Medrek prematurely walked of the code of ethics conference in liew of fair and free election ultimatum to be included in the negotiations or preceed the code of conduct, while KAEUP attended the conference and refused to sign on to it in lieu of the 8-point conditions. While your are engaged in armed struggle for freedom and democracy for all Ethiopians and at the same time pandering with OLF and your genuine counterpart in a peaceful struggle is KAEUP, your very effort to free Ethiopians/the silent majority from the the multi-layered, hierarchical political model is undermined by not forging an alliance with a party with majority base support and a positive force for integration of Ethiopia, to say the least the armed struggle is not faught from within Ethiopia.

  5. Bekele
    | #5


    I was wondering where you disappeared. Your blabor here is not understandable. Will the next move be AAPO and TPLF forging a united front? You may have the insider information as you have been the internet spokesperson of AAPO.

  6. Anonymous
    | #6

    Aha should ignore the snide remarks of Bekele and his likes.
    Aha is incisive,forthright and consistent in his views.
    I like the way he defends some old fashioned truth.Like the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation.Aha is someone who can also come up with many insightful remarks.He seems to have a lot of eureka moments when he particularly analysis the politics of ethnicity in our country.No one’s frivolous or malicious remarks should therefore detract him from what he is doing best.

  7. aha!
    | #7

    As recently as of January 12,2009 OFDM and OPC, have a press release on having formed a coalition called the OFC, the Oromo Fedreralist Congress, right after the joied the coalition of Medrek of loyalist oppositon parties, UDP and Tigrai Harena. This latest coalition, called Medrek, not only an ethnic-based coalition, except UDJP, wearing two hats, they are identified as TPLF “gilibach”, and what I consider as mirror image of TPLF/eprdf. Now in the elevent hour before the election, while they were previously the idea of participating in the electiong, they are posturing with 8-points at least in part of the KAEUP’s written demand document submitted to TPLF/eprdf regime and pandering to OLF and the the positive forces for integration with regard to regaining the ports. Their form of peaceful struggle to plea the TPLF/eprdf reime or western governments to put pressure on the regime for political space, as if its an event of quantitative measure rather than qualitative, to ask the regime to make democratic reform, where there has never been democratic rule for the last eighteen years for the silent majority of Ethiopians, and lastley asking the regime to adhere to its constitution about election, as if expecting a chiken/dove from an egg of a snake, only to attain a sizeable seats in the parliament as do nothing, but maintain their ethnic based agenda of separate but equal, divide and rule policy, of perpetual conflict among smaller ethnic groups over grazing and water resources, and border disputes looming among the bigger ethnic groups.

    In this kind of set up or frame work, where EPLF and TPLF are brain child of the master plan, there is no harmoney among the ethnicities, and there is no time to ponder on how to develop the country, the individual is not empowered as autonomous, free individual with the right to freely claim that Ethiopia is for all Ethiopians and is entitled to private ownership anywher in Ethiopia either by grant or purchase and invest on it to cooperatively, singly contribute to the GDP.

  8. yikerbelen
    | #8

    aha, do not bark here. Your stand is crystal clear. you do not need to run here and there. you are TPLF’s agent. You know what has TPLF done in dedebit in 1984 when 1m people from tegray died of starvation, TPLF sold all aid which they got in the name of starved tegerya’s people for 200m dollars in the arb’s world and TPLF has kept 100m dolars which they got from the music band in the name of the same people G7 has already started knocked your’s bosses door in different parts of ethiopia. Believe me It is your bosses nightmare out of their controll. SO any organization far better than TPLF which took 300m dollars from the mouth’s starved people and who gave ethiopia’s fertile soil for sudan in place sudan will not allow it’s land for ethiopia’s freedom fighters. After reading TPLF’s evil doing in 1984, any deal with them is useless. Hailu shawul has betrayed ethiopia and ethiopians so many times in his life time and it is not an expected. Hailu shawul was issolated from Ethiopians , presse and an international communities after he returned from his hidding place [USA for ten months] , now he felt secured after he shaked Melese’s hand. Time will show . First Hailu u must save his business empire . Ethiopia is his second matter.

  9. Your nightmare
    | #9

    aha, what you’re afraid of is coming home to roost! You think, we don’t read and understand few words you paint here and there all over? Your trick is older than you are! You nightmare will be reality very soon. It is beyond your grade to understand the complicity of the matter & try to grow mature & stop your bla blas!!!

  10. aha!
    | #10

    Yikirbellen! Which one one of my statements ascribes me to be a TPLF agent, or which one of statements throws you off to make a bizzare comments. If you are defending your party or countering my statements as being untrue, or the conceptual political models, depicting the alignment of the current political parties. I do not spare TPLF/eprdf or Medrek as mirror image of TPLF/eprdf, nor Ginbot-7 pandering to OLF and sponsorship of EPLF/Eritrea, rather than collaborating with the people of Eritrea, their dual enemies of the current reime and TPLF/eprdf or fight from within Ethiopia.

    No matter what you are condemnig KEAUP’s leadership for with nonsubstantiated facts, his party is lined up with the positive forces of integration against the negative forces of disintegration, which includes TPLF/eprdf, UDJP, wearing two hats and Medrek.

    For your information, KAEUP is full steam organizing its party and reopening Offices throughout Ethiopia in anticipation of the implemntation of the 8-point preconditions for fair and free election in 2010, against harrassements, intimidations and imprisonment. Assess the progress of your party of the cry wolf and do nothing parliamentarians and dissidents from TPLF/eprdf.

  11. aha!
    | #11

    Add to the end of my last statement a conglomeration of ethnic-based loyalist opposition parties sustaining and/or maintaining the status quo.

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