- Launched 26/05/2021
- Time remaining > 5 months
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Petition to the European Union to condemn the 2021 Ethiopian elections as illegitimate and pressure the Ethiopian government to engage in an all-inclusive national dialogue and for the reinstatement of the democratically elected Tigray Regional Government.
General elections in Ethiopia were scheduled to be held on the 29th of August 2020. The elections were delayed, under the pretext of the COVID-19 pandemic. Abiy Ahmed’s unconstitutional “Prosperity Party'' has been ruling the country without an electoral mandate ever since. Abiy Ahmed rose to national prominence following widespread popular protests which included the Oromia region. He was selected by the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), of which he was a member, to serve as an interim caretaker in order to transition the nation to the next elections due to take place in May 2020 (later postponed to August 2020). Since his appointment Mr. Ahmed has never taken part in any constitutional or democratic elections. In 2019 Abiy Ahmed unceremoniously dissolved the EPRDF and formed the Prosperity Party; this too was done without respect to the rules and bylaws of the EPRDF.
Despite winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Abiy's tenure is noted for its over three million internally displaced persons, daily killings, assassinations, detention of civilians without due process, the jailing of political opponents, restrictions to press, and ethnic violence, capped by the war in Tigray, which erupted in November 2020. Since then, there has been a gruesome conflict taking place in the northernmost Ethiopian region of Tigray. The war has resulted in a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. International and domestic observers have released reports on gang rapes, extrajudicial killings, destruction of property, and deaths from starvation. Hence, Tigray will not participate in the upcoming election. Furthermore, many promising politicians of the Oromo ethnic group have been imprisoned on questionable charges. Analysts warn that the national elections could bring about more insecurity and violence. Organizing the vote is already proving difficult and voter registration has shown various irregularities.
The imminent danger associated with the upcoming elections:
- The unelected Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed Ali, has already imprisoned promising election candidates and opposition party leaders, under the alleged pretext of being involved in the murder of the popular Oromo musician Hachalu Hundessa.
- Political parties that present an ideological difference to Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party have either been barred from the elections, their leaders imprisoned or are boycotting the elections as this will not be a free and fair election.
- There have been perpetual uprisings and resistance movements in various regions throughout Ethiopia against Abiy Ahmed and the Prosperity Party led government. Since Abiy Ahmed’s ascent to power, Ethiopia has been destabilized by conflict, economic crises, weaponized famine, political suppression, and crimes against humanity.
- Ethiopian opposition leaders who are not in custody are expressing concern about holding elections at a time when people’s safety is not guaranteed.
- Many predict that the political crisis in the country will be a cause for very low voter turnout; there are already reports of manipulation of ballot papers.
The status of Tigray’s elections:
- The regional state of Tigray already conducted its regional elections in September 2020 in accordance with the Ethiopian federal constitution and the Tigray regional constitution.
- The Tigray regional elections were extremely well planned and organized, as 2.7 million voters were able to cast their ballots safely with precautions for Covid-19 by following the safety guidelines put forth by the World Health Organization.
Therefore, we plead the EU to take into account the above facts and to condemn the 2021 Ethiopian election as illegitimate. Furthermore we urge for the following:
- A diplomatic intervention in accordance with the EU's core beliefs and values that emphasises the importance of dealing with political differences through an all inclusive dialogue instead of violence.
- The EU representatives to call the 2021 Ethiopian election out as a sham, since it does not meet the minimum requirements for free, fair and competitive elections.
- The EU to urge the Ethiopian regime to release all political prisoners, including political leaders who were imprisoned so they could not take part in the national elections.
- We propose and encourage the use of stronger diplomatic measures, including economic sanctions, arms embargoes, travel bans, and freezing of personal assets and bank accounts.
- Verifiable, immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Ethiopia and Amhara militia from Tigray
- A call for an immediate ceasefire, independent UN-led and UN-only investigations into crimes and atrocities to ensure accountability for all crimes
- Allow immediate and full humanitarian access and medical workers to help with the health crisis due to the lack of supplies.
- Call for the reinstatement of the democratically elected Tigray Regional Government that was chosen to lead by 2.7 million people.
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