Thursday, 29 October 2009

Hailu Shawel, Lidetu Ayalew agree to fake election rules

October 29th, 2009 |

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — Some groups who claim to be opposition parties in Ethiopia and the ruling tribal junta, Woyanne, have agreed to new rules for June 2010 sham elections.

The new electoral laws reportedly outline campaigning, voting and party symbol guidelines and how to deal with intimidation and violence and call for the establishment of a panel to handle election disputes.

"The agreement was reached on consensus by all participants after two months of negotiations," said Ayalew Chamiso, head of the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy party (CUD).

Ayalew Chamiso is a Woyanne puppet who has been installed by Meles Zenawi as chairman of the now defunct CUD, popularly known as Kinijit, that won the 2005 elections.

"The agreement enables the elections to be carried out in a peaceful, fair and free manner," added Ayalew.

The All Ethiopian Unity Party (AAUP) led by Hailu Shawel and the Ethiopia Democratic Party (EDP) led by Lidetu Ayalew also agreed to the rules, according to the state television.

On the other hand, the Forum for Democratic Dialogue in Ethiopia (Medrek), a coalition of 8 parties, which had said key elements on security and freedom of expression and movement were not included in the code, has not signed on.

Berhanu Nega, a former leader of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) and now a leader of the Ginbot 7 said Ethiopia is not a conducive country for democracy.

“All the issues that make a democratic election do not exist in Ethiopia at this time, starting from the independence of the election board, the independence of the military and the police, judiciary all are in the pocket of the ruling class. And in the absence of a fair and leveled playing ground there is no meaning in an election,” he said.

Nega said the 2010 election will most likely be similar to the 2008 local election when he said Meles Zenawi’s ruling party won 99.9 percent of the vote.

He said two of the opposition parties that reportedly agreed on the new rules for next year’s election were created by the government.

“You know there are three parties who participated in this. Two of them are the parties created by the ruling party. So these are not serious parties. This is just simply to show to the gullible international community that there is some election taking place. But nobody in Ethiopia is taking it seriously at all,” he said.

Nega said his party would not take part in what he described as a sham election in 2010 election.

“I think by now Africans are aware what actually is going on in the name of elections. Elections are supposed to be mechanisms through which popular will would be reflected. But in our continent in most countries, especially in Ethiopia, it has become an exercise in futility,” he said.

Nega was elected mayor of Addis Ababa in the 2005 election, but he and other opposition leaders were later jail after the government charged them with genocide and treason.

He said since 2005 Ethiopia has turned into a totalitarian state and that the only option for most Ethiopians is to remove the government.

“Even by African standards, this is a suffocating dictatorship that has completely the life out of Ethiopian politics and for most Ethiopians now the only way out of this political quagmire is to get rid of this government by one means or another,” he said.

Nega concord his comments would be interpreted as seeking the overthrow of the Meles Zenawi government.

“I am very, very clear and ardent than this. Unless otherwise people are free they cannot solve their basic economic problems…we have a very unpopular government, despotic government. Unless otherwise people start to take responsibility for their lives, I don’t think you’re going to make significant change in the economic wellbeing of the people,” Nega said.

He said the recent famine in Ethiopia is the result of the Meles Zenawi government being much more interested in staying in power rather than developing the country and saving the people.

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