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May 17, 2021
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European Union will not observe the Ethiopian Election

European Union accuses Ethiopian government for not agreeing with “Key parameters” for the deployment of observer mission 

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The European Union on Sunday announced that it has cancelled observing the sixth general election in Ethiopia – which is scheduled to take place on June 5, 2021.

“Despite all efforts by the European Union, it was not possible to reach an agreement with Ethiopian authorities on key parameters for the deployment of an EU Electoral Observation Mission in view of the parliamentary elections on 5 June 2021,” said the statement from the Union.

The narrative from the EU paints Ethiopian authorities as standing between the European Observation mission and the task of observing the election.

“The EU regrets the refusal of the fulfilment of standard requirements for the deployment of any Electoral Observation Mission,” it said.

It alleges that independence of the observation mission and “the import of mission communication systems,” and the EU claims that that impacts the pre-election process including voter registration.

Some Ethiopian intellectuals tend to see the measure on the part of the EU rather as a sabotage to delegitimize the Ethiopian Election.

The Ethiopian government has issued a statement in response to the cancellation of the European Union observation mission. Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said “All possible efforts were made by the Government to conclude the Administrative Arrangement for the deployment of the mission, but these were to no avail.”

Furthermore, the ministry said “it is very unfortunate to have learnt that the issue of communications equipment was put forth as a deal-breaker for the EU to observe one of the most hoped-for democratic elections in the country’s history.”

The Ethiopian government is saying that VSAT service can only be provided by the country’s huge Telecom provider – Ethio Telecom. On the other hand, the EU wants to import equipment to Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian Election was supposed to take place in August 2020, but the parliament postponed it due to the Coronavirus situation in the country following a constitutional inquiry commission proceeding.

As for the Ethiopian government, the “key parameters” that the European Union demanded for have never been an issue in election observation missions in the country in the past.

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