The Ethiopian Electoral and Political Parties /DRAFT/ Proclamation

Chapter Three Election Campaigning
43. Conducting an Election Campaign
1.In the period from day a candidate received a candidature certificate until four days to election day, he has the right to call rallies and hold peaceful demonstrations on his own or through his supporters being respectful of the laws and notifying the administration or municipality in writing and without requesting for their permission. He shall also have the right to receive from the Board and other relevant government organs information which he may deem useful for the election campaign.
2.Election campaigns carried out by candidates and their supporters in accordance with the directive to be issued by the Board shall be completed four days before election day.
3.Election campaigns shall be conducted peacefully and democratically by respectful of the constitution and other relevant laws as well as the rights of voters and that of other candidates.
4.The rights stated under sub-article (1) of this Article may not be exercised in contravention of the law.
5.The Board shall issue election campaign code of conduct to ensure the peacefulness and fairness of the election process.
44. Use of the Mass Media
1. Political parties and their supporters are entitled to equal access to state-owned mass media including radio, TV and newspapers.
2. Candidates shall be entitled to get access to free airtime on the state-owned media.
3. The use of the mass media shall be carried out in accordance with the allocation directive to be developed by the Board in collaboration with the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority and the participation of the contesting political parties.
4. the code of conduct and implementation guidelines dealing with mass media use, journalists’ coverage of elections and related matters shall be determined by the directive to be issued by the Board.
45. Obligation of Government Organs
To ensure the success of election contests government organs and officials at all levels are obligated to prepare the ground to provide both for candidates and their supporters, equal access to such facilities as radio and television stations, meeting halls and newspapers under their respective managerial authority. The Board shall issue a directive to determine the particulars.
46. Places Where Election Campaigns Shall Not be Staged
1.No elections campaigning shall be conducted in the following places: a. churches;
b. mosques;
c. military camps and police stations;
d. within 200 meter radius of educational institutions during the conduct of classes;
e. within 200 meter radius of a permanent or periodic market in a rural or urban
area while trading is in progress;
f.governmental and public institutions during working hours; g.places and areas where public meetings is in progress.
2.The Board shall issue a directive detailing the particulars
Chapter Four Voting
47. The Launching of Polling Stations
1.Voting shall commence in all polling stations simultaneously on a date to be fixed by the Board.
2.Without prejudice to sub-article (1) herein above, in case of compelling circumstances, the Board may fix different dates for polling station in which circumstances warranting such chance of schedule have happened.
3.In accordance with the directive to be issued by the Board, voting shall begin:
a. In the presence of representatives of political parties and independent candidates,
members of the Grievance Hearing Committee, observers and electoral officers;
b. After the executive of the polling station shows to the bodies stated in (a) of this sub-article that the ballot box is empty, and after it is sealed by the seal prepared for the purpose and put in an open place and within close distance to observers, and after minutes are recorded and filled in a form, which the Board prepared for the purpose, that is when it shall begin.
48. Security of Polling Stations
1.Prior to election day polling stations shall be kept reliably protected and safe and be ready for the day. prior to election.
2.Except for election executives, representatives of political parties and independent candidates; members of the Grievance Hearing Committee and accredited election observers, anyone who is not voting and has already voted shall stay away from a polling station.
3.No person may be within a radius of five hundred meters of the polling station in a state of drunkenness, carrying a weapon or in any other condition that disrupts peace. In the event a person is found in such state the election executive should call for the support of security forces and take necessary measures.
4.The responsibility of ensuring the security of polling stations rests primarily on the chief electoral officers. Where the chief electoral officers or members of the Grievance Hearing Committee or observers of the polling station believe that a police force is needed to defend the security of the polling station, they may make a request to the concerned body. However, members of the Grievance Hearing Committee, political parties and independent candidate and observers shall present their request through the polling station officials.
5.The chief electoral officer may order the expulsion of anyone who should not be in the polling station or has attempted to disturb the electoral process. Where the person disobeyed the order, the chief electoral officer may call upon a policeman to take the person out of the polling station. The policeman shall leave the polling station and return to his assigned place as soon as he executes the order.
6. A unit of the police or security force or a person to whom a request has been made by the chief Election executive of a polling station or an electoral district to ensure the security of elections, has the duty to cooperate, respond quickly and enforce the request in line with Article 27 of Proclamation No, 1113.
7.Anyone who got to a polling station possessing suspicious documents, according to credible reports may be searched in the presence of the chief electoral executive, representatives of all political organizations and independent candidates and observers. In the event the suspicion proved to be true, he shall ensure that appropriate measures are taken.
49. Voting hours
1.Unless the Board decides otherwise, voting hours shall run from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
2.Where the Board decides otherwise under special circumstances, it shall officially announce this to the public at least two days prior to the voting day.
3.Where the final voting hour is completed, the polling station shall be closed; however, voters in the process of voting and within the premises of the polling station shall be allowed to vote.
4.Without prejudice to the provision of sub article (1) of this Article, where the Board is convinced that it helps to the conduct of free and fair elections, it may extend the voting hours.
5.No person, except electoral officers, members of the Grievance Hearing Committee elected by the public, representatives of candidates and authorized election observers, may be allowed to enter polling stations before the opening and after the closing of polling stations.
50. Casting Vote
1.Any voter may cast his vote freely where he appears in person.
2.Each voter shall cast his vote only once.
3.Any voter shall cast his vote at a polling station where he has been registered and where: a. he carries his voter’s card;
b. his name is listed in the electoral register;
c. it has been ascertained that he has not voted yet.
4.Unless the Board determines otherwise, all voters shall cast their votes in a similar time frame.
51. The Voting Process
1. The voter shall hand his voter’s card to the electoral officers of the polling station, whereupon they shall proceed to verity his identity by examining the card.
2.After verification of his identity and that he has not voted in accordance with sub article
(1) above, the voter shall be made to sign in the column of the electoral register designated for the purpose.
3.After the voter signed on the electoral register, his thumb, if he doesn’t have a thumb, any of his other fingers, shall be marked with indelible ink after which he shall be handed with a ballot paper and directed to the voting booth. If he doesn’t have fingers, the electoral executives shall ascertain that he has not voted already before they allow him to vote, making a visible part of his body with indelible ink. .
4.In the booth, the voter shall put on the ballot paper an “X” or an unequivocal or a thumb mark in the square corresponding to the symbol of the candidate for whom he wants to vote, after which he shall fold the ballot paper and insert it in the ballot box placed in front of and in close sight to observers.
5.Illiterate voters shall vote by pressing one of their fingers in the square corresponding to the symbol of the candidate for whom they want to vote after dipping it in the ink made available for this purpose.
6.Where the voter fails to properly make use of the ballot paper, he may return it and cast his vote upon receipt of another.
7.The electoral officer shall put a special mark or ‘invalid’ at the back of the ballot paper returned in accordance with sub article (6) above and dispose it into the box provided for this purpose.
8.The Board may deploy technology to assist with the voting and in accordance with Article 58 of this Proclamation, the vote counting processes. The Board shall, in consultation with contesting political parties, issue a directive to determine the specifics of technology deployment
52. VotersWho Need Assistance
1.Priority shall be given to the disabled, the elderly and pregnant women during registration as well as voting.
2.Any voter who needs assistance to put a mark on his ballot paper and insert it into the ballot box has the right to select his assistant. The election executive shall explain the right to voter so that the voter may be aware of and benefit from it .
3.Without prejudice to the provision in sub article (1) above, the assistant shall be 18 years old and above, and shall not be a candidate or representative of a candidate.
53. Non-interruption of the Voting Process
1.Voting shall not be interrupted or stopped.
2.Without prejudice to sub article (1) herein above:
a.where voting had been interrupted for any compelling reason, even for a short period of
time, and the electoral officers are convinced that the situation has been restored to normalcy, voting may resume immediately after the incident has been minuted.
b. where voting cannot be resumed due to reasons beyond control, it shall be discontinued; and the matter shall be minuted and immediately reported to a higher electoral officialc. A voting process discontinued in accordance with sub article 2(b) shall be conducted at another time as per the decision of the Board .
54. Disputing the Right to Vote
1.A representative of a candidate may, before the issuance of ballot papers to any voter, challenge a person who is in the process of voting on the grounds that he is not eligible to vote or has not been registered to vote in that particular r polling station.
2.Where a voter is denied of a ballot paper, a complaint may be submitted by the voter himself or a representative of a candidate.
3.A representative of a candidate or a voter may oppose any irregular action, other than on the grounds of opposition provided for under sub articles (1) and (2) above, of an electoral officer, representative of a candidate or any other person present in the polling station.
4.The Polling Station Grievance Hearing Committee, after assessing the opposition made in accordance with the provisions above, notify the opposing person or body of its decision in writing. .
5.The chief electoral officer of the polling station shall keep a written record of the complaints submitted in accordance with this Article and the decisions thereto.
55. Voting on a Provisional Ballot
1.Where the Grievance Hearing Committee of a polling station is of the opinion that a person whose right to vote has been challenged as per Article 54 above should be allowed to vote, such a person shall vote on a provisional ballot.
2.A vote cast in accordance with sub article (1) above may be counted or rejected based on a decision made in accordance with Article 153.
56. The Ballot Paper
1.The ballot papers to be prepared by the Board for any type of election shall be user friendly and secure against fraud.
2.The ballot paper to be prepared by the Board shall contain the candidates’ photographs, candidates symbols, full names of candidates and names of their political organizations.
3.The number of ballot papers to be sent by the Board to each polling station shall be equal to that of voters registered in each polling station, with a few extra ballot papers for contingency.
4.The Board and electoral officers at every level shall handle the ballot papers with high standard of care and security.
5. Any transfer of election documents from one person to another shall follow the legal procedures for such transfers. Particulars shall be determined by the Board’s directive.

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