Ambassadors Say Germany, Sweden Providing Assistance for Upcoming Election

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ENA,February 20/2020 The ambassadors of Germany and Sweden said their governments have been providing support for the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia to make the upcoming election successful.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Germany’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Brita Wagener and Sweden’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Torbjorn Pettersson said their countries are keen to provide every necessary support that enhances the implementation capacity of the electoral board.

Ambassador Brita Wagener said Germany has so far contributed ten million Euros to support the national election that will be held in August as the country is showing results in its reforms.

“The money we give in order to support the election goes into a bigger amount that is given by the EU as a whole; but the ten million Euros we are giving is a big chunk of that support and it  goes to National Electoral Board of Ethiopia for the preparation and logistics that is needed to make the election credible and successful,” the ambassador explained.

At the sideline of the preparation for the upcoming election, Ethiopia has invited the European Union and they are exploring the possibilities of sending election observers while other countries are also expected to send observers.

According to her, Germany has developed a new program under the framework of Compact with Africa which would boost reform partnership with Ethiopia in particular, and Africa in general.

“As your country is evolving and changing, I think also our relationship is changing,” Wagener said, adding that “Germany is very interested in supporting Ethiopia in the current reform path by assisting and contributing by whatever means we can to make it successful.”

Moreover, Germany is discussing with Ethiopia about ways of supporting the African Union and IGAD in order to create peace and stability in the region, and support the Ethiopian defense force in training for mainly international operations, Wagener pointed out.

Sweden’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Torbjorn Pettersson said on his part Sweden is extremely encouraged by the development seen in the country and prioritized election as part of supporting the democratization process.

“Sweden is working together with the United Kingdom, a kind of leading that effort as much as we can. But it is implemented by the United Nations Development Program. So, we are supporting the electoral board in building capacity and preparing for election,” he stated.

As a member of the European Union Sweden hopes that it would observe the election, thereby making sure that there is a lot of observation for the fairness and justice of the election, Pettersson added.

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has announced the election day for Ethiopia’s forthcoming nation-wide election that will take place on the August 29, 2020.