Addis Ababa November 14/2017 The Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and four opposition parties have continued negotiating on the electoral law, despite the decision of the group of 11 not to take part in the process and remain observers.
The group of 11 opposition parties declined to negotiate as the naming of the present National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) was not changed to National Electoral Commission.
The 5 remaining political parties, including the ruling party, discussed 61 Articles of the Amended Electoral Law of Ethiopia Proclamation No 532/2007.
The ruling party EPRDF proposed that the Secretariat of the Board be appointed by the House of People's Representatives and that the House also appoints competent and non-partisan regional branch office heads.
Similarly, it suggested that the number of voters assigned to each polling station be raised from 1000 to 1,500, explaining that it can facilitate election. The term of office of the Electoral Board was also proposed to be raised from 5 to 10 years.
As regards public observers, the party suggested that each polling station have 3-5 impartial observers elected by the people.
The opposition YeEthiopia Raie Party, on the other hand, proposed the office term to be 5 years.
With respect to power and duties of the Electoral Board, the party said Deputy Board Chairman needs to be appointed from among opposition parties.
Furthermore, the party stated that the registration timetable for general elections throughout the nation should be from 15-20 days.
All Oromo People's Democratic Party on its part argued that each regional state and city administration should have Regional Electoral Board that are to be appointed by Chief Administrator and Mayor of the particular region or city administration.
Gadaa System Advancement Party proposed the inclusion of judges in the NEBE to ensure justice and the change of name of regional branches to either agency or commission.
Meanwhile, EPRDF rejected the introduction of electronic voting system stating that a number of impediments that are related to capacity might bring unwanted results.
The parties agreed to meet on November 15, 2017 to proceed with the negotiation on Articles 62-111 of the electoral law.