Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Tigray People’s Liberation Front Losses Legal Political Party Status

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia requested explanation from three other ethnic-based parties based in the Tigray region.


January 18, 2021 

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia announced on Monday that Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is cancelled as a political party with a legal status with the Board. 

It was said that the Board  has been evaluating if political parties meet criteria or not to deliberate if parties could have a legal status. And the decision on TPLF came as part of that process. 

The Board said that it considered statements from the party and facts on the ground to determine if the party (TPLF) is engaged in armed rebellion, and has confirmed that it did so. 

Furthermore, the Board disclosed that it reached out to individuals who worked as a  middleman, between the party and the Board, who are based in Addis Ababa,but the former told the Election Board that they cannot represent the party.  However, the board did not specify about the individuals who were reportedly approached to see if they can represent the party. 

The Board also cited legislation 1162/2011 article 98, s1. ss. 4 to pass the decision that leaders of the party could not operate as a political party under the name TPLF.

Several Top TPLF leaders and executive committee members of the party, including deputy president of Tigray regional state, were captured during the law enforcement operation in Tigray and brought to the capital Addis Ababa as prisoners. The Federal police and the attorney general conducted an investigation on them. 

The Board requested the Federal Attorney General to share findings from the investigation of TPLF leaders with the board regarding assets of the party — fixed or otherwise. 

Three other regional parties (they are all ethnic based political parties) operating in Tigray have not lost their legal status. However, they are ordered to provide the Board with an explanation regarding the nature of their political activities in the region.  Assimba Democratic Party (ADP), National Baito Abay Tigray (Baitona) and Salsaye Woyane are the parties that are required to provide an explanation. 

While the parties were processing their legal status with the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, they took part in what the Board called illegal election in Tigray (it was held in August 2020 under the leadership of TPLF) — it was said. Baitona party and Salsay Woyane parties are  implicated in taking part in armed activity. 

The Ethiopian Defense Force and The Federal Police are still undertaking an operation to capture alive or eliminate them. TPLF chairman (Debretsion Gebremichael), Party spokesperson (Getache Reda) and former intelligence chief (Getachew Assefa) are still not captured or reported dead.  

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