The Ethiopian Electoral and Political Parties /DRAFT/ Proclamation

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The Ethiopian Electoral and Political Parties Proclamation

የኢትዮጵያ የምርጫና የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች  /ረቂቅ/ አዋጅ

WHEREAS, it has become necessary to enable all Ethiopians to exercise their right to self-administration, without any discrimination, through their representatives elected in a direct and free election;
WHEREAS, it has become necessary to establish an electoral institution that conducts free, fair and peaceful elections at every level in an impartial manner in which Ethiopians freely express their will on the basis of equal popular suffrage and secret ballot system;
WHEREAS, it has become necessary that any electoral activity shall be guided by an electoral law that meets international standards;
WHEREAS, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia has been re-established by Proclamation No…. to administer elections impartially;
WHEREAS, it has become necessary to establish an electoral system that enables political parties with different views to participate in the election and introduce their objectives to the electorate in a peaceful and legal manner, and that enables the people to elect their representatives based on informed decisions and free expression of their will;
WHEREAS, it is necessary to lay down the rights and duties of citizens to establish and become members of political parties in exercising their freedom of association and, the basic principles that political parties must abide by;
WHEREAS, it is necessary to regulate the manner in which political parties can merge, form alliances or build coalitions;
WHEREAS, it has become necessary to put in place an instrument that enables political parties and independent candidates running for elections to play a constructive role in ensuring fair, peaceful, free and democratic elections;
WHEREAS, it is necessary to issue a code of conduct for political parties, candidates and members of political parties to promote elections that are guided by ethical behavior, and that are transparent, free, fair, peaceful, legitimate, democratic and credible;
WHEREAS, it has become necessary to establish a joint political parties’ forum and other bodies that give administrative decisions to resolve disputes that occur in the election process, and to put in place a clear and effective system of looking info complaints and appeals
NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with Article 55 (1) and Article 102 of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, it is hereby proclaimed as follows
1. Short Title
This Proclamation may be cited as proclamation on The Electoral and Political Parties Law of Ethiopia Proclamation No…
Unless the context otherwise requires, in this proclamation:
1.”FDRE” means the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;
2.”Constitution” means the Constitution of the FDRE;
3.”Region” means one of the regions established in accordance with Article 47 of the Constitution and, for the purposes of this Proclamation, shall include the two chartered cities of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa;
4.“Board” shall mean the Ethiopian National Electoral Board re-established by Proclamation No 1133/2011
5.”Election” means general elections, local elections, by elections and re-elections conducted in accordance with the FDRE and regional constitutions, and other relevant laws.
6.”General elections” means the elections held every five years to elect members of the House of Peoples’ Representatives and Regional State councils;
7.”Local Elections” means the elections held to elect representative to zonal, woreda, city municipality and sub-city or Kebele councils conducted in accordance with relevant laws;
8.”By-election” means an election held in a single political constituency to fill a vacancy arising during a government’s term of office.;
9.“Re-Election” means a rerun of an election on the order of Ethiopian National Electoral Board as per the authority given to it by Proclamation No 1133/2011; on the order of the Federal Supreme Court; or when the election candidates received equal number of votes and were tied for the seat.
10.”Referendum” means voting by the electorate on a particular proposal presented to it in accordance with the FDRE Constitution or other relevant laws.
11.”Electoral Register” means a record wherein voters are registered at polling stations as voters for elections at all levels;
12.”Voter Identification Card” means a certificate issued to voters upon registration at polling stations;
13.”Political Party or Political Organization” means an entity with a political program created by an organized group of people in accordance with this Proclamation to hold power by contesting in elections at the national, regional or local levels.
14. “Political Party Leaders” means members of the executive committee -or equivalent- of a political party.
15. “Constituency” means an electoral district established by dividing the nation’s territories in accordance with the law and in a manner conducive for the execution of elections and for the people to elect their representatives;
16. “Polling Station” means a place where voter registration, the casting of votes and vote counting take place during elections.
17. “Election Executive” means a person, including the Board, in charge of executing elections.
18. “Candidate” means any person nominated by a political party or registered independently to compete in an election;
19. “Observer” means both local and international organizations observers.
20. “Local Election Observer” means a legally registered, independent and not for profit domestic organization which the Board has authorized to observe elections through its representatives.
21. “International Election Observer” means foreign governments or international, regional or sub regional organizations, or governmental and nongovernmental agencies operating in or out of the country which the Board has invited to observe elections in observance of international treaties to which Ethiopia is a party.
22. “On-site Representative” means a person assigned by a political party or an independent candidate to a specific constituency or polling station to observe the election process on-site and ensure that the rights of the candidate he represents are respected.
23. “Mobile Observer” means a person assigned by a political party or an independent candidate to observe the election process on-site and ensure that the rights of the candidate he represents are respected by moving from one polling station to another
24. “Grievance Hearing Committee” means a committee established in accordance with this Proclamation during elections to give administrative decisions to complaints lodged at a regional electoral office, a constituency and a polling station level;
25. “Merger” means the formation of a new party by two or more legally registered parties which have dissolved themselves.
26. “Front” means an alliance formed by two or more political parties that have distinct legal status following their agreement to have common name, political agenda and rules;
27. “Coalition” means an alliance between two or more political parties who agree to work together for a common objective while maintaining respective legal personalities.
28. “Substitution” means the replacement by a political party of its old name and program by a new one and its registration under a new name when the request made to the Board is accepted following the submission of the required information to the Board.
29. “Person” means natural or legal person.
30. Words used in the masculine include the feminine
3. Scope of Application
This proclamation shall be applicable to;
1.All general elections conducted in Ethiopia as well as local elections, by-elections, reelections, and referendums.
2.citizens who have formed a political party to contest in elections; political parties along with their leaders, chairpersons, members, supporters, representatives, party or individual candidates; fronts, coalitions, alliances and mergers

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Abrham Yohannes

Abrham Yohannes Hailu Licensed Lawyer & Consultant

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