With the aim of advancing the discussions on the overall democratization process of the country and the upcoming elections, active political parties in Ethiopia on Thursday have approved a guideline.
The guideline was prepared by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia in consultation with the representatives of all active political partied in the country. The guideline signed by representative of all political parties includes the procedures on how the discussion should be handled and the responsibilities of each political party.
It also involves how to select independent individuals who lead the discussions.
Among the contentious issues to be discussed by the parties are the possibilities of conducting the May 2020 national election on the face of the current clashes in the different parts of the country.
Currently there are around 76 registered political parties in Ethiopia, of which the majority represent a specific ethic / tribe. These include Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), Oromo Democratic Party (ODP and other ethnic groups such as, Sidama, Harari, and Somali.
Though few there are also national level political parties in Ethiopia such as, Semayawi party and Patriotic Ginbot 7, which are trying to form an alliance with similar national parties.
After inviting all oppositions groups to return back to their country from exile and engage in peaceful political discourse, recently the reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has appointed a new electoral board head, Birtukan Mideksa, who used to be a prominent opposition figure.