The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) on Wednesday proposed August 16 for the general election. Stakeholders of the election discussed on the draft schedule presented by Birtukan Midekssa, the chair of the electoral board.
Election 2020 is one of the most debated issues in Ethiopia. Some politicians and parties had been proposing to postpone this year’s poll because of security concerns. Ethnic violence in most areas of the country could give a hard time for political parties to make election campaigns freely.
“How could it be possible to hold an election for a country which failed to hold a census,” said Llidetu Ayalew representative of the Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP) during the discussion on the schedule. He added that the government should guarantee peace in the first place.
On the other hand, others, including the ruling party, insist on making the election on time. These groups believe postponing the vote is ‘unconstitutional.’ Prime Minister Abiy said on multiple stages that the election should be on time. He believes that the election could give him legitimacy to make more significant economic and political reforms.
Besides that, the schedule proposed by the board raised concerns from political parties in attendance. Logistic chaos could result because of the rainy weather in August. The readiness of the electoral commission and security situation in the country also questioned during the discussion.
According to the proposed draft, registration of candidates scheduled from April 21- May 4. And the election campaign will be from May 5 to August 11. Finally, the board announces the result within August 17-26.
The board said that the poll could not happen on May because of preparation that need to be completed. Additionally, the committee added that it is working to find logistics support from regional and federal governments.