CSOs to play a pivotal role in the upcoming Ethiopian national elections
On 20 May 2021, CECOE and ECES (European Centre for Electoral Support) jointly organized a consultation forum on the theme “CSOs and Elections – Role of CSOs’ in Election-related conflicts”. The event attracted close to 50 participants comprised of CSO members, government representatives and media professionals.
The three discussants at the forum were Nigussu Legesse (PhD), Executive Director for Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Association (CCRDA; Getachew Zeru (PhD), Assistant Professor at Ethiopian Civil Service university; and Franck Balme, Project Co-ordinator at ECES. The briefing session was moderated by Abeselom Samson, founder of Shengo Global.
Following a welcome address by CECOE acting director Abera H/mariam, Nigussu Legesse (PhD) presented an overview of the role of CSOs in elections, and explained in detail about the trust that is needed to be created among CSOs in order to create a strong and vibrant civil society. “We are going to have the 6th national election amidst tensions and the dynamics in play are very sensitive,” stressed Dr. Nigussu. He also added that CSOs should play a pivotal role in making the 6th national elections free and fair.
The second presenter, Dr. Getachew, on his part discussed about election related conflicts in a great detail. Each phase of an electoral process can give rise to conflicts and complaints about decisions of the electoral administration. Stakeholders must, however, distinguish the possible complaints by considering their cause, effects and the entity involved, according Dr. Getachew.
The third presenter Franck Balme reiterated the need to have an Early Warning System (EWS) to prevent and mitigate electoral violence. “Using the media monitoring team we formed in partnership with CECOE we are working to launch an Early Warning System (EWS) that will gather timely and credible information to equip key stakeholders in the election with the necessary mechanisms to develop actionable plans to address issues that can transpire conflicts,” said Franck.
As part of its effort to create awareness and dialogue among germane stakeholders involved in the electoral process, CECOE has planned to organize other similar forums in the coming few weeks.
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CECOE has successfully completed regional trainings for its long-term observers ahead of its voter registration observation activity. The regional training sessions were designed to give important knowledge, increase professional competence, and foster readiness of observers as well guaranteeing the requirement to be non-partisan is met by all participants recruited from nine regions and two city administrations where voter registration is taking place. All materials and manuals necessary for the voter registration exercise were also shared with observers in four languages during the trainings.
The European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) with funding support from the European Union, today organized a 4-day Leadership and Conflict Management for Electoral Stakeholders (LEAD) training for Ethiopian Civil Society Organisations under the auspices of the Coalition of Ethiopian Civil Society Associations for Elections taking place in the beautiful city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The workshop is being conducted within the context of the Prevention, Mitigation and Management of Election-related Conflicts and Potential Violence in Ethiopia (PEV-ETHIOPIA), which seeks to establish a coalition of like-minded non-state actors in order to form a stronger voice in political- and electoral processes in Ethiopia.
The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) on Friday December 11, 2020, tendered an invitation for interested local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to submit to the board their application to partake as local observers in the upcoming 6th general elections.
The board said local CSOs, as observers to an election, will play a great role in making the upcoming general election free, fair and independent.
Based on inputs collected during consultations with representative of CSOs and other stakeholders, the board stated, it has already approved an election observers’ code of conduct, which provides a guide to the relation between the board and local CSOs.
A consortium of over 165 locally established civil society organizations are anticipating the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia’s (NEBE) approval to start voters’ education in multimedia platforms for the upcoming general election, coordinator of the consortium, Abera Hailemariam told The Reporter.
The consortium named Coalition of Ethiopian Civil Society Organizations for Election (CECOE), launched in early 2020, targets providing civic and voter education, election monitoring and observation, advocacy and stakeholder’s participation, and research and capacity building.