NEBE Says Oromo Liberation Front Congress Contravene Party Regulation, Not Allowed in Election
March 29, 2021
Oromo Liberation Front will not be allowed to take part in the election as the congress it claimed to have conducted is rejected by National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, NEBE.
The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) Party resorted to calling general party congress as a way to resolve the difference within the party which led to a faction. Former party spokesperson, Kejela Merdassa, does not even recognize the Dawud Ibsa led group as a faction. It is a clique, he said in an interview with Ahadu TV last week.
The group under the leadership of Ararso Bikila has been vying for recognition from the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) after concluding a party congress with the hope of getting recognition from the Board. It also appealed to the Board to be allowed to take part in the next election saying that it failed to meet candidate registration deadline due to the party congress work.
As it turns out, NEBE rejected the congress that Ararso Bikila’s group conducted. In a statement released on Sunday, NEBE said that it had been receiving appeal letters and suspension from both sides of the faction within OLF following the split.
NEBE said party congress was called by the executive committee meeting while two-third of the executive committee was attending the meeting. The circumstances under which the congress was called violated section 23/4 of the party regulation. The body formed to carry out the party congress violated the regulation and could not execute the party congress. It was indicated that the NEBE decision was made based on documents submitted to the Board .
Only three executive committee members established the organizing committee of General party congress, it was said.
Furthermore, NEBE cited section 16.2 of the OLF party regulation to make a point that attendance to the party congress was in violation of the party law.
A member who is to be elected as a representative to the General Assembly needs to serve at least for two years, but no evidence is given to verify that those who attended meet the criteria which is stated in section 17.1 of the party regulation, Election Board said further.
NEBE decided that the party congress is not acceptable for the above-mentioned reasons.
OLF’s request to take part in the election is unacceptable not on grounds that the deadline is passed but that the leadership elected following the party Congress is not accepted. The party has not yet reacted to the decision from NEBE.
It is to be recalled that the Oromo Liberation Front has been undergoing internal turmoil over what one faction of it ( under Ararso Bikila) said is a difference over strategy to attain party objectives.
On the other hand, the faction under the former chairman of the party, Dawud Ibsa, is believed to have links to the militant wing of Oromo Liberation Front although Mr. Dawud declared that his party no longer has links, whatsoever, with it.
Ethiopian government has been linking Oromo Liberation Front to massacres, killings and assassination in the country including the assassination of Hachalu Hudnessa.
The militant wing leaks on social media ISIS style execution pictures and pictures of people, including elder, to be executed.