UK backs Ethiopia’s upcoming elections

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

The UK government has extended financial support worth over half a billion birr to help Ethiopia run free, fair and transparent elections next year.
“Ethiopia’s democratic reforms are inspiring people across the world that is why, we have agreed to provide 15.5 Million Euros for the upcoming Ethiopian national election as it further demonstrates the close working relationships that the UK has with Ethiopia, says Jermy Hunt, British Foreign Secretary.

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

The funds will build the capacity of electoral board to run the election, make electoral operations more transparent and enhance the board communications and engagement with the Ethiopian people. The United Nation’s Development Program works with development partners.
UNDP will also be working to support the National Electoral Board so that it can ensure Ethiopia holds a credible national election in 2020.
“The British contribution is substantial and timely that allows UNDP to deliver quality assistance to the election board,” says Louise Chamberlain, UNDP resident representative to Ethiopia.
The project will also try and prevent electoral violence through enhanced monitoring and early warnings to improve the effectiveness of the electoral dispute mechanism.
“Elections are fundamental and the most visible part of democracy, I am proud that Britain supports Ethiopia’s election, Hunt adds.
Bertukan Mideksa, Chairwoman of the Electoral Board said we are assuming the election will be conducted on time. The Board is talking with opposition political parties to amend laws and agree on electoral reforms.
The ruling party vows to conduct a democratic election, ‘My dream and ambition is working for democratic elections to be held in the country,’ PM Abiy Ahmed said during the signing ceremony of political parties.
“If successful and peaceful, the elections in May 2020 will be a major step towards building a democratic culture in Ethiopia and will lay a platform for a continuation and deepening of the inclusive reform Ethiopia has been making,” said Secretary Hunt.