Ethiopian Opposition Express Discomfort Over AU Election Observer Mission

 

The Ethiopian opposition on Thursday expressed its discomfort with the African Union election observer mission for next month’s national elections in the country.

The opposition parties said that they will not accept the AU election observer mission, saying that they (AU election mission) will not observe the election freely.

MEDREK, a coalition of eight opposition parties told journalists in Addis Ababa that the AU did not freely and independently observe the 2005 national elections.

“We know how the AU observed elections in Ethiopia. This time too, we will not expect any free observation from them,” said Professor Beyene Petrose, chairman of MEDREK.

An official at the AU on condition of anonymity told APA that the commission will still go ahead to deploy its election observer mission as it did in other member states.

Regarding the criticisms by the opposition parties, “The AU will observe the elections freely and independently based on its procedures and standards”.

Last week the European Union, which has already announced its mission in Ethiopia announced plans to deploy around 160 election observers to observe the elections.

Around 60 political parties are taking part in the election, due to be held for the fourth time under the current regime, which took power in 1991 by ousting the former military junta.

APA

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