Saturday, April 03, 2010

EU to observe Ethiopian election

EU to observe Ethiopian election
From Sudan Tribune, Saturday, 03 April 2010:
April 1, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) — After been mulling whether to observe polls in Ethiopia, the European Union has hinted sending a team of observers to monitor Ethiopia’s election.

The decision was announced by the European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, to African and European parliamentarians meeting in Tenerife on Monday.

The Union’s decision comes after an EU exploratory mission concluded assessment of the electoral environment in the country. The European Union is expected to send an official letter to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi any time now to notify its decision.

Ethiopia last polls, in 2005, drew a record number of voters, with 90% of the electorate turning out to cast their vote however the election was deemed by the European Union election observer team which alleged irregularities and the whole election process lacking international standards for fair and free election.

The EU monitor team claims then created deep divisions between the Ethiopian government and the EU.

Over 29 million Ethiopians will go to polls to cast their vote in May, the first parliamentary elections in Ethiopia since 2005, when the post-election period was marred by controversy and bloodshed

The horn of Africa’s country has drawn up a code of conduct for international election observers so irresponsible comments or possible bias won’t lead to violence.

Recently, The Carter center announced that it will not be sending an observer mission to monitor Ethiopia’s national election.

The decision comes after the Ethiopian government postponed carter center’s request of sending an exploratory team in December to February.

Carter center argued that the arrival of its exploratory team in February will be too late to study whether to accept or reject the invitation.

Despite growing accusations of harassment by some opposition groups, Ethiopian officials have repeatedly gave their words to conduct fair, free, democratic, peaceful and credible elections. (ST)

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