Ethiopia recognizes Balderas as political party

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has given recognition for Balderas, the recently established political party led by the former human rights activist and multiple global journalism award winners Eskinder Nega.

NEBE today announced issuing temporary registration certificate for four political parties including Balderas for Genuine Democracy.

Balderas was initially launched as a civic society to safeguard the political and economic rights of inhabitants of the capital Addis Ababa from ‘special benefit’ claims of the surrounding Oromia Region over the City.

Mr. Eskinder was sentenced for 18 years in prison until the reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power and announced release of all political prisoners in the country.

It is recalled that the ruling coalition (the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front), which recently rebranded itself as Ethiopia Prosperity Party, has almost lost all the parliament seats in Addis Ababa City Council general election during the bloody 2005 election, which claims around 200 lives.

Meanwhile the then Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) has failed to reach agreement and take over the City, which also led to arrest and exile of thousands of its leaders and supporters, including the recently established EZema leader Berhanu Nega (PhD).

Since losing the 2005 general election in many cities, the EPRDF, which then was dominated by the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), has been following different techniques to increase its number of supporters in urban areas.

This includes infiltrating its secret agents in higher education institutions, public services and giving priority and promotion for those who become members of the party.

The actions taken By the EPRDF also includes favoring business people associated with EPRDF and migrating thousands of its supporters from rural areas mainly from the northern part to Addis Ababa in what looks an attempt to change the demography of the city.

The promoters of Balderas, including Eskinder Nega and tens of thousands of the inhabitants of Addis Ababa, who denied their vote to the EPRDF during the May 2005 general election, argue that same techniques of the TPLF- dominated-EPRDF is being pursued by ‘the reformed EPRDF’, which is directly or indirectly working to diminish the political, economic rights and votes of the Addis Ababans by considering the non-Oromo ethnic group people in the City as Aliens.

As a result of the above techniques of implemented and being pursued by the ruling coalition, many observers agree that unlike the 2005 general election result or the recent elections in Ethiopia, it is very unlikely for one political party including the ruling coalition to get landslide victory in Addis Ababa.