Ethiopia to hold referendum, general election in nine months

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), says it is preparing to undertake Sidama referendum and general elections of Ethiopia on schedule – within the coming nine months.

This is indicated this afternoon at a press conference the head of NEBE, Birtukan Mideksa, held in the capital, Addis Ababa. She stated that the board she is leading is working to manage both the referendum of Sidama’s zones quest to upgrade its status to a new region of Ethiopia within less than six months and hold Ethiopia’s general election in may 2020.

Commenting on the objections opposition political parties are raising in relation to the recently passed law that is set to govern elections in the country, she indicated that it is not expected to be agreed on everything by all groups.

But she said, most of the issues some of these opposition political parties oppose is related to the requirement that demands one regional political party to get support of 4,000 people and for national political party to get signatures of 10,000 people to be registered as a political party.

In relation to holding referendum in Sidama, she stated that her office will be meeting officials of Southern region of Ethiopia, within which Sidama zone is currently located, tomorrow on how to discuss on the deployment of referendum observers and related logistical issues.

It is recalled as of July 18, 2019, dozens of civilians are killed and properties have been burned and or destroyed by youngsters who claimed that they are the Ejetos (Sidama youth), who earlier vowed to declare Sidama as the tenth region of Ethiopia on without holding referendum.

In his twit las week, “November 13/2019 is Sidama statehood referendum date. No amount of violence or hatred can stop the quest for self-determination. Later or sooner all nations will attain it against all odds,” said Jawar Mohammed, Oromo ethnic group activist, who recently began advocating for Sidama independence.

The federal and regional political leaders should allow all nations to exercise their rights. No need to shade blood for something that’s inevitable, twitted Jawar, who was instrumental in leading the Oromo protests against the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) dominated regime from Minnesota, United States using his OMN tv station, social media.

A few months ahead of the massacre of dozens of people in different parts of Sidama zones mainly on July 18, 2019, Jawar, who reportedly bought LTV last week, was seen on a video in Hawassa city, the capital of Southern region of Ethiopia.

He was warmly welcomed at the celebration of the Fiche Chamballa – the new year holiday of the Sidama tribe and made a remark encouraging the Ejettos to continue their struggle for the referendum and expressed his support. Meanwhile some considered his statement at that event as inflamatory and instigator of the July 18 massacre of dozens of non-Sidama ethnic group in Sidama zones.