Ethiopia: EDP rejects preliminary election result

By TheReporterEthiopia

The Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP) revealed that the May 24 general election that took place throughout the country was not free, fair and credible, and so, the party does not accept the preliminary results.

In a press conference that was held at Ghion Hotel last saturday, executive committee members of the party including the president, Chane Kebede (PhD) listed 22 challenges and hurdles that the party faced during the election process and the final voting day in a four-page press release.

Regarding their delayed response and report of the irregularities that the party faced, the president said, “Our party believes in logic and truth and, hence, we delayed to report the irregularities that the party faced throughout the country because it took us some time to collect all the necessary information and evidence from all parts of the country.”

Among the major complaints and irregularities listed by the party were harassment of their candidates, loss of their members because of their attachment with the party; offers of bribes so that members quit their contact with the party, from active participation in the election and from their candidacy; and candidate representatives were barred from registration.

“Though we tried to file our complaints and problems to election officials in the areas, no one was willing to talk and solve our problem,” the executive committee members said.

The leaders of the party went on further to explain that the challenges that they faced included the spread of propaganda that opposition parties are anti-peace and anti-development and so on. Another reason that the leaders of the party reject the preliminary election result is that their electoral campaign materials and presentations were censored. The officials also stated that during voting day, campaigning took place within the 20m to 30m radius; and the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front's (EPRDF) posters were posted inside polling stations, armed security personnel were present in the stations, and ballot boxes were full before the voting began.

So far, four opposition political parties: the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum (Medrek), Semayawi Party (Blue), the All Ethiopia Unity Party (AEUP), and Ethiopian Ra'ey Party, have rejected the preliminary election results and the announcement made by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE). EDP is the fifth party to reject the preliminary election results.