Election Foundation for Democratic Culture in Ethiopia, Say Research Institute, NGO Heads

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Addis Ababa, June 26/2021(ENA) The active participation of voters and the discipline of political parties during the 6th General Election highlighted the founding of a democratic political culture in Ethiopia, according to the Deputy Director-Genera of East African Policy Research Institute (EAPRI).

EAPRI Birhanu M. Lenjiso told ENA that the political culture of Ethiopia was full of animosity and violence.

However, the active participation and politeness of the voters as well as the disciplined behavior of political parties during the recent election demonstrated the beginning of a new democratic political culture, he added.

The people voted freely and politely while the political parties have so far shown tendency to accept the outcome of the election, Birhanu noted.

This shows that the political culture in the country has been evolving in the country over the last three years.

“Though state formation in Ethiopia was one of the earliest in Africa and the world, we don’t have a developed political culture. We need to take this election as a benchmark to develop our political culture in the next 5 to ten years. I believe that the people of Ethiopia have laid the foundation for this,” the deputy director-general stated.

According to him, the election further highlighted that the people of Ethiopia are eager for true democracy and they have shown this election by exercising their rights peacefully and politely.  

Birhanu said, “I had the opportunity to be an observer of two previous elections, in 2005 and 2010, as a university student council member and European Union observer respectively. I believe that the election this year was unique and the people of Ethiopia have shown they are far better than the elites.”

Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia Executive Director, Obang Metho said unity and solidarity among the people of Ethiopia has been seen during the election as the people hope their country to be transformed into better steps of democracy and development.

The active engagement of the people during the election showed that “there is high sense of Ethiopianism in the hearts of the people and they are eagerly waiting that the election would bring opportunities to strengthen the unity of the people as well as ensuring the peace and stability of the country, despite the existing challenges including conflicts, death and displacement of persons in the country,” he elaborated.

He noted that credit needs to be given to the people, competing political parties as well as the ruling party for their disciplined acts both in pre-election and election periods.