By Bileh Jelan @BilehJelan
Addis Ababa, September 21, 2121 – The branches of the Somali region of the Citizens’ Party for Social Justice (Ezema) and the Party for Freedom and Equality (EFF) announced their withdrawal from the second round of the 6th national elections. This comes just days after the withdrawal of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and nine days before polling day in the region.
The regional branches of Ezema and FEP announced their withdrawal in a joint statement issued today, highlighted the reasons for the withdrawal and announced that the two parties will join the ONLF to withdraw from the elections.
The statement said: “It was important that the 6th National Elections of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia take place and create a peaceful and just environment in the Somali region for all political parties to compete equally and free of obstacles. To this end, it is recalled that the political parties in the region reached an agreement with the Ethiopian National Electoral Board (NEBE). ”
He went on to explain that, based on the above principles, all the political parties in the region reached a common agreement, but they complained that the understanding was broken and complaints were registered at the polling station.
The parties recalled a request they made to replace the “stolen election materials” with new ones and said, “But the previously stolen ballot papers will be used in the next election, so the votes will not be credible “. The Parisians added that their request for additional polling stations was not answered.
In addition, the parties accused the electoral board of “merging” with the government structure and protested against the fact that election executives who stole election material were not brought to justice. The pariahs also complained that there were no changes in the process of allocating voting material, the process of recruiting and training election officials, the process of registering and registering voters.
Both sides claimed that the election documents and materials were used exclusively for the benefit of the Somali branch of the Prosperity Party (PP), without the knowledge of the National Electoral Board, and that the material was in the hands of of woreda and kebele officers and only used by the ruling party ”.
The statement further explained that due to a lack of information, it is not clear how many voter cards were distributed as they are under the control of woreda and kebele officials, making it difficult for candidates to assign the its observers.
The statement then concluded by adding “Due to the reasons mentioned and with the absence of the possibility of free and fair elections, we withdraw from the elections scheduled for September 30, 2021.”
The statement echoes the previous statements of Abdi Mahdi, who said the president of the ONLF Addis standard“It makes no sense to follow an election that has already been decided.” AS