A consortium of 176 locally established Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) revealed that they are prepared to deploy over 3,000 election observers in the upcoming general election slated for June 21, 2021.

Earlier this week, the Coalition of Ethiopian Civil Society Organizations for Election (CECOE) organized a consultative meeting with stakeholders on the role of CSOs in areas of election related conflicts.

Beniam Abate, CECOE election observers’ coordinator, told The Reporter that, of the total 50,000 polling stations across the nation, the Coalition is planning to cover at least 5000 polling stations by dispatching its 3000 election observers.

Even though the Coalition planned to observe the process of the election starting from candidate registration, he explained, delays in receiving observer’s accreditation and badge from the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), have hindered its plans.

According to the NEBE, more than 134,100 local observers will be deployed to observe the upcoming general election.

Atleast 47 political parties and 125 independent candidates are vying for seats in the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR) and regional councils. Of the 50 million projected voters, the Board announced last week that around 37 million voters have registered to vote so far.

The Coalition of Ethiopian Civil Society Organizations for Election (CECOE), an initiative that was launched in early 2020, was established with the objective of providing civic and voter education, election monitoring, observation, advocacy and stakeholder’s participation and research and capacity building.

Meanwhile, Sources close to The Reporter indicated that the African Union (AU) will deploy around 60 election observers. It is to be recalled that the European Union (EU), which revealed it has cancelled its plans to send election observers, has now agreed to send a team of experts.

Similarly, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) Pre-Election Observation Assessment was conducted in late April 2021 and the delegation released their assessment results late last week.

The report by the NDI and IRI indicated the need for a serious and concerted effort by all stakeholders prior to Election Day, noting the necessity to hold
meaningful elections and laying the groundwork for national reconciliation and democratic progress beyond the elections.

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.

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