EU’s cancelation of its electoral observation mission is not the crux of the matter for the upcoming 6th general elections of Ethiopia, what matters most is how the election process is being conducted with huge voter turnout, so remarked Scholars.
Ethiopian Social Democratic Party President Prof. Beyene Petrous said the absence of EU election observers does not have any negative impact on the election process as they were playing insignificant role during the previous elections with apart from adding fuel to confrontations. Prof. Beyene further said :“Surprisingly, I have never seen the ones who have come as observers including the European Union election observers effectively discharging their responsibilities during the last elections, instead they had acted as tourists coming for refreshment leaving the main agenda aside.”
He, moreover , said that their absence rather helps Ethiopians run the election exploiting internal capacity. Besides, their attempt to use their own communication and their interest to declare the election result before the board makes it public clearly undermines the legitimacy of our institutions thereby compromising the sovereignty of the country. A Politician and Geopolitics Scholar, Tigistu Awolu on his part said the European Union’s (EU) unusual approach to use new communication equipment and their request to make election results public first is absolutely unacceptable.
“Earlier, the government invited EU to act as per national laws to observe election process and they accepted the invitation to observe the election, whereas the present cancelation is strange as it requested to operate its own communication equipment. This shows their political bias.” He further said that so long as observing the election process requires physical observation coupled with equipment support, their cancelation may force anyone to question their independent stance in due course of running the election.
“The government will lose nothing as a result of the cancelation of EU observers as the decisive role is played by Ethiopian citizens in holding free, fair and democratic election. Observers have no legal ground to primarily announce the election in the first place.” Observers have to observe the election process according to the country’s law, but their intention indicates that EU observers are not interested in observing the election process due to their biased political stance not because of taking communication equipment, he said.
Even if the government allows them to use the equipment to announce the election results, it will not be legal apart from totally undermining nation’s sovereignty. It is to be recalled that the Government says it is committed to make the upcoming general elections free, fair, and democratic and is determined to continue working with all stakeholders to make it so.
Though external observers could add some value to strengthen the quality of electoral processes, they are neither essential nor necessary to certify the credibility of an election. The validity and legitimacy of Ethiopia’s election is determined solely by Ethiopian laws, Ethiopian institutions, and ultimately, by the people of Ethiopia, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.
BY MULATU BELACHEW
The Ethiopian Herald May 8/2021