Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ethiopia: EU Reports Shortcomings in Ethiopian Elections

Ethiopian general elections, held in May 2010, fell short of international standards, according to the assessment of the EU Election Observation Mission (EOM). "The electoral process fell short of international commitments for elections, notably regarding the transparency of the process and the lack of a level playing field for all contesting parties", states the Final Report, published on 8 November. The delay in publishing this critical report is due to lengthy failed negotiations to launch the report in Addis Ababa, a usual procedure that was rejected by the Ethiopian government, as explained the Chief Observer of the EU EOM, Thijs Berman, during a press conference to launch the report yesterday at the European Parliament, in Brussels.

"It does not surprise me that Ethiopian authorities refused to allow the report to be launched in Addis, as it also happened in 2005," noted Ana Gomes, Member of the European Parliament and Chief Observer of the EU EOM to the 2005 general elections in Ethiopia. "The regime stole the elections in 2005 and since then has taken systematic steps to silence all opposition voices. I am shocked to read the declaration made yesterday by High Representative Catherine Ashton, which turns a blind eye to the grave human rights violations and the lack of democracy shown again in the 2010 elections, sustaining a business as usual policy towards this country."

Source: Office of the MEP Ana Gomes