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.

If you are interested to attend any of our upcoming events, please send us your contact details to contact@cecoe.org

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