Successive Dialogues Crucial to Conduct Free, Fair Election: Competing Political Parties


Addis Ababa December 5/2020 (ENA) The ongoing open dialogues among political parties should continue as they will help make the 6th General Election free, fair and democratic, according to some political parties.

Parties which talked to ENA, following the discussion held with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed this week, said open dialogues are critical to widen the political space in the country and resolve challenges faced in the process.

Dialogues are also decisive for parties to move freely anywhere in the country and promote their programs and agenda, it was noted.

Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (EZeMa) Chairperson, Yeshiwas Assefa said the efforts being exerted  by the government to widen the political space and conduct a democratic election is encouraging.

Citing the discussion with the premier as a manifestation towards realizing a democratic and participatory election, Yeshiwas said it created opportunity for parties to raise and discuss issues of concern.  

“There is no short cut to a democratic system. It is straight. Dialogues and negotiations are the major constituents in building a democratic system. The discussions are therfore foundations for exercising democracy. The 113 horrific conflicts and destructions in the country which took place during the past two years disrupted healthy dialogues. But now they have continued,” he added.

Dialogues enable to widen the political space and to avoid illegal activities witnessed during the past elections conducted in the country.

“The previous elections were manipulated by the ruling party to retain power. There was no chance for competing parties to win elections in a democratic manner. Now, we don’t expect this to happen again,” Yeshiwas stated.

“ Whatever the government may call it, for us this is the first election. The previous elections under EPRDF have not been any difference from the elections held during the regimes of Emperor Haleselassie and the military Derg, because they were simply the means to sustain their power  gained either by divine-power or bullets, not by ballots. But, this one should be different from the previous ones,” the chairperson underscored.

Tigray Democratic Party Chairperson, Aregawi Berhe said continued dialogue is critical.

“The discussion [with the PM] was fruitful. I mean it was crucial to have a common understanding among the political parties, including the ruling party, and to know what is expected from all concerned parties. In my view, it has created common understanding among all the parties. The discussion has set ways to make the coming election free, fair and trustworthy,” he noted.

According to Aregawi, priority should be given to avoid complaints witnessed during the past elections.