Ethiopian Opposition, Ruling Parties Exchange Allegations Over Upcoming Elections – By Peter Heinlein(VOA)

November 11th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Eight Ethiopian opposition groups are accusing Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s ruling party of using its control of the government to systematically crush opponents ahead of next year’s national elections. (more…)

Eight Ethiopian opposition groups are accusing Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s ruling party of using its control of the government to systematically crush opponents ahead of next year’s national elections. The eight groups say that negotiations between the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, or EPRDF, and other opposition parties are ignoring the most important issues.

The eight opposition groups, calling themselves the Forum, say an electoral Code of Conduct signed by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front and three other opposition parties fails to ensure the vote will be fair.

The head of one of the Forum members, Beyene Petros, says they want to engage the EPRDF in bilateral talks about what he calls “breaking the ruling party’s stranglehold on the electoral machinery.” “These are our specific issues – desist from the illicit use of EPRDF membership as a pre-condition for job opportunities; respect for the rule of law by the EPRDF and its government, for example, put an immediate end to all extra legal imprisonment. Free all political prisoners. Make EPRDF officials and cadres accountable for the breach of the law of the land, prevent interference in the election process, separate government and ruling party functions,” Petros said.

Last week, opposition parties issued a list of 450 of their members who have been jailed to keep them from running as candidates in parliamentary elections set for May.

Petros says the EPRDF must agree to end its tactics of “coercion and intimidation”. “Now they have started imprisoning our regional representatives. We are getting calls from police stations, and we are calling this government and the ruling party to come back to its senses. This kind of petty tactics will not work,” Petros said.

Government and ruling party officials dismiss the Forum’s allegations. In a telephone interview, EPRDF spokesman Hailemariam Dessalegn accused the forum of injecting hatred into the campaign. “This is hate politics. Hate politics will not bring this country to a democratic process. So you should avoid all hate politics and come together,” he said.

Hailemariam rejected the allegation that opposition party members are being arrested to keep them from running in next year’s elections.

He said the Forum is welcome to raise that and other issues in inter-party talks that now include 68 of Ethiopia’s 92 political parties. “We were asking them several times to come to the negotiation table they are always boycotting. Not once – four or five times. I think the problem is just allegation. They haven’t brought to EPRDF issues with evidence. And we still urge them and beg them to come into the discussion. And whatever problem they have, we are ready to discuss with them,” he said.

Ethiopia has a history of election-related violence, and it has never had a democratic transition of power. The 2005 vote was marred by the killings of nearly 200 demonstrators who took to the streets to protest alleged fraud by the ruling party.

Prime Minister Meles has pledged to make the 2010 elections peaceful. He is reported to have dramatically strengthened security forces to keep order.

  1. ደምስ
    | #1

    The gov’t out smart the oppositions parties and will see them fall apart for every one to witness. An excellent advice from UK, Germany and some other players work for this criminal gov’t very well. They wanted the dictator to stay in power and they got it.

    We have no one to blame for this mess. If we can’t learn from past elections and be united; may be we deserve what we got. Dr. Berhanu Nega may have a point why he would like to see change in our country either by peace or by God intervention or by what every means.

    He probably realized as long as some one like Khadi Engineer Hailu exists; no unity will survive in Ethiopia. I hope God some how will entirvene on be half of the poor Ethiopians.

    Mengisitu’s regime fell apart; it can only described God had enough of his gov’t almost two decays ago. He was very powerful. Any thing could happen to this desparate evil gov’t as well.

  2. JIGSA
    | #2

    THIS TIME AROUND WHAT EVER WHO SAID THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE IS NOT GOING TO LET THEM STEAL THE THE ELECTION LIKE THEY DID IN 2005.THE ETHOPIAN PEOPLE CARELESS WHAT EVER THE OUTSIDERS SAY IT IS NOT WHAT THEY SAY IT IS WHAT THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE SAY.IT IS UP TO THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE THOSE OF YOU KEEP SAYING WESTERN SAY THIS EUROPEAN SAY THAT YOU NOT HELPING A DIME FOR ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE CAUSE.THE DECISION IS TO THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE STOP WRITTING THIS COUNTRY SAY THIS THAT COUNTRY SAY THAT.THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE WILL SURALLY KIK WOYANE TPLF THIS TIME AND PUT IN PLACE THEIR CHOICE AND BRING DEMOCRACY ONCE FOR ALL.THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE STRUGGLE FOR DEMOCRACY WILL PREVAIL!!!!!!

  3. Anonymous
    | #3

    JIGSA,
    I can tell you are a Woyanne agent. “THIS TIME AROUND you mean 2010 election? How can the Ethiopian people get rid of Woyane under 100% Woyanne managed and controlled election system? If you are not Woyanne agent, then you are very naive politician. You better not open your mouth.

  4. JIGSA
    | #4

    re;
    anonymous
    it is not necessary to answer you,but since you mention my name let me tell you one thing.let me make clear my self to you what isaid was listen carefully if the opposition demand met and woyane tplf is willing to participate in a free and fare election it is possible to bring things in order in ethiopia.you and your likes are may be woyanes who want the opposition to boycot the comming election so woyane will stay in power 5 more years.the ethiopian people are tired of woyane tplf 20 years rule,but boycoting is not the answer if the opposition didnt participate woyane is the winner you and your friends go na say viva woyane sertainly not me,me and my friends say all the time
    ‘MOT LE WOYANE TPLF”DEL LE ETHIOPIA HIZB!!!!!!!!!!

  5. aha!
    | #5

    Out of step of the eight oppososions parties, is putting a demand to TPLF/eprdf regime, a flu like incident he had lived with in all the past elections. After the 2005 election, there was a negotiation to join or not the parliament within his party and he opted to join the parliament against his constituencies amd members of the party officials, i presume.
    His party, if it is UEDF has indicated in a press release to use participating in the election without refraining from from protesting if their rights to fair and free election is violated, which puts them between UDJP and KAEUP. It is the public rights to know, what this ultimatum stipulated by Prof. Petros as “Peros says the EPRDF must agree to stop its tactics of “coercion and intimidation” means in relation to refuing to attend and/or sign in the curent code of coduct conference or document and in reference to reasons for attending the conference and signing of conduct by Medrek. It sounds bizzare to me.

  6. Anonymous
    | #6

    aha, i think you are not oppostion supporter , you support the dictator. do you know the meaning of KAEUP. K stands for Kinijitthat means Kinijit All Ethiopia Party. AEUp leaders are sign with the fake Kinijit leader , that means your leader are give the name for Ayele. if you guys merge with Aeyel you can call KAEUp. we Ethiopian Support kinijit it was not by name , by principal. Hailu and Aeyel coult get the name of kinijit, because those are not democrat and the sign Lidetu(Kidetu) , are you guys work togther for woyane. Hailu=Lidetu=Ayele=melse all are criminal, onthe time coming they will be on court.

  7. aha!
    | #7

    First of all, let me correct the last statement not in front of attending the conference….

    Having made that premise right, I am commenting about Prof. Beyenene Petros’s ultimatum to TPLF/eprdf regime. I do not understand nor repond to where flared up response came from with regards being a supporter of this or that.

    Who is the juddge and jury for your charge? What is that I said for you to label me as a supporter of a dictator. Don’t you think Ato Lidetu with national agenda defecting Kinijit and Prof. Beyene petros, with ethnic agenda, joining the parliament are equally culpble to their respective parties and constituencies. Stand your ground and argue logically for side, which has only sustained and continue to sustain TPLF/eprdf to maintain the status quo of separate but equal, divide and rule, apharheid policy of ethnic fedreralism, which gave it an upperhand to ethnic dictatorship under the watch of your loyalist opposition. parties.

  8. Ms, Ethiopia Tenur
    | #8

    First of all, There is no, fair election in Ethiopia period. Its all B.S.Thats why melese laughing at us.Sitting between two clowns,Shawel&Ledetu.Wake up.

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