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President calls on political parties to act responsibly

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Addis Ababa, October 8, 2019 (FBC) –President Sahle-Work Zewde has called on political parties that will participate in Ethiopia’s upcoming general elections to act responsibly.

The President made the call at an international conference on the role of stakeholders in national elections opened in the Ethiopian capital today.

The conference brought together representatives from political parties, National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), civil society organization (CSOs), and the media.

The conference aims to draw lesson from countries that have experience in the sector with a view to making the upcoming elections democratic, free, and credible.

Moreover, it is intended to promote cooperation between stakeholders and put forth solution by identifying potential problems in electoral process.

In her opening remark, the President said it is important to draw lesson from other countries and compete with better ideas in order to make the upcoming general elections a success.

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia is required to equip itself with competent manpower by strengthening the ongoing reform process to make the elections credible and democratic, the President added.

She further indicated that political parties that will participate in the elections should act responsibly and come up with better ideas promoting national unity.

The President also called on all stakeholders to play their parts to make the upcoming elections free, democratic, credible and participatory.

U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, Michael Raynor, said “Ethiopia’s success in conducting the upcoming elections in a credible and safe manner will be a critical step in the reform process.”

The 2020 elections will be the first opportunity for Ethiopians to express their will – directly and clearly – under Ethiopia’s new reform process, he said.

Birtukan Mideksa, Chairperson of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), said her office is working with all pertinent bodies to make the election democratic, free, and credible.

Reform works were underway to make the electoral institution strong and independent, she added.