The National Electoral board of Ethiopia conducted workshop on ‘election violence and early warning’ for political party leaders in Addis Ababa, Adama and Hawasa. The participants were from national and regional parties and of the total parties invited (75), 66 attended in the workshops organized. Each party was represented by two participants.
While opening the workshop, the board chairperson, Professor Merga Bekana noted that the constitution of Ethiopia clearly stipulated that election is the only means to hold government power and thus multy- party democracy is the foundation of the political system in the country. And hence citizens are free to organize themselves to form political parties and through peaceful competition can hold government power if won elections.
He also added, Article 102 of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) and Electoral Law of Ethiopia Proclamation No. 532/2007, establishes the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE). NEBE as an independent and autonomous organ is the sole authority in charge of preparing and conducting elections, register, monitor and support political parties and capacitate political parties through trainings.
The board chair extending his speech, acknowledged the role of political parties in the democratization and development process underway in the country. Political parties are expected to design appropriate policies which reflect the concrete realities of the country and international conditions and monitor the proper implementation of policies and strategies.
While concluding his speech, professor Merga noted that political parties can play the role vested on them, only when they reflect the concrete problems of the people and continuously check their own internal party democracy. Finally he remarked that to shoulder the responsibilities vested on political parties to expedite the development process in the country, they are expected to work day and night.
In the workshop, two senior experts from University and house of people’s representatives presented papers. Based on the papers presented discussions were made and finally participants demanded for similar workshops in the future.