Legal news update

Ethiopia parliament approves new electoral bill ahead of 2020 polls | Africanews

Source: Ethiopia parliament approves new electoral bill ahead of 2020 polls | Africanews

The Ethiopian parliament, the House of People’s Representatives, HoPR; today approved a new electoral bill ahead of much anticipated national polls slated for next year.

Lawmakers convened in an extraordinary session to debate and pass the law which had been under construction since Abiy came into power in April 2018.

The revised law of political parties registration and electoral ethics has been adopted unanimously by Ethiopia’s parliament, the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The privately-owned Addis Standard portal added that a proposed clause meant to boost the involvement of women was dismissed by the lawmaker. The said clause sought to give priority to women who received equal votes with men during the polls.

The ruling coalition, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF; is on record to have stressed its readiness to organize the polls on schedule.

The EPRDF currently holds all seats in the parliament.Competing parties in Africa’s second most populous nation have also made similar calls but with a core demand that electoral reforms be passed.

There is a new head of the electoral board in the person of Birtukan Mideksa and international partners including the European Union have pledged financial support to help the electoral process.

Analysts have meanwhile expressed concern over rising insecurity which saw Ethiopia emerge the worst in the area of internal displacement due to conflicts. Ethnic based clashes soiled Abiy’s first year in charge at a time he was championing widespread political reforms.