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The EU-EOM and its total failure

Ethioobserver Editorial 

Normally, observers of an election process are invited by the governments in power on the first hand and the consent of the opposition groups on the other as a gesture of goodwill. There is a code of conduct on how they should observe and assess the outcomes of the election process so that the sovereign power of the land is not advanced and conflict of interests are not advanced. These are simple and obvious facts for countries and union of countries to follow and fulfill. However, the current Ethiopian election that was hailed by many observers (African Union, Carter Center, volunteers, etc) as an exemplary that can serve as precedent for many countries, was finally marred and labeled by the EU-EOM report as “failing to meet international standards for democracy”. The report, has on the contrary, failed to meet the impartiality or neutrality requirement it was supposed to deliver according to the norms and deliberations of international standard, as is the case in different parts of the world. Observers, taking subservient stands towards one or the other are either unprofessional in their undertakings or are naïve, easily duped by the flow of sentiments. Anyway such an approach is in contravention of agreements concluded between Parties and against the sovereignty of Ethiopia.

Thanks to the letter of the Prime Minster to the Ethiopian Herald, a lot of secrets were exposed on how the untimely report was leaked to the opposition and media, the scandalous preliminary statement released without corroborating facts and the bias it showed to those institutions (NEBE, CIP) and people, who tirelessly worked to rectify irregularities. Kudos to those who should have been praised heroes during those difficult days. The European Union Chief observer “labored” instead after 4 months a scrap report, attacking these very institutions, which relentlessly tried to address the never-ending protests of the opposition. Remarkably one of the news, which was outside the Chief Observer’s mandate was the hype during the press conference at Hotel Sheraton that one of the opposition politicians was “hidden under her skirt”, given sanctuary in her bed and saved from the atrocious forces of the ruling party! This was really an embarrassment to all involved- A EU official coming to a land to observe the free and fair election and an opposition politician already elected hiding from security officers under the pretext of being harassed. We know that the oppositions, which has never had common political programs and agendas for Ethiopia, were simply riding on the opinions emanating from dissatisfied and annoyed groups, were harping on ethnicity and eulogizing failure unless they got elected. Taking all confusions and noisy arguments presented during and after the overheated election period, the EU-EOM were lured to believe the cunning of the opposition. After all, knowing the background of these seeming democrats in the name of opposition and the role they played during the retrogressive governments, most Ethiopians do really know their chameleonic nature and vacillating stands. They have adopted the means of their previous employer Derg on how to make a mountain out of a molehill.

Ethiopians without any pressure and of their own volition have organized an election, where the opposition was given ample airtime to present their case to the electorate. Everybody also knows that the opposition had no chance whatsoever in the countryside, where the majority of the people live. How do the observers explain the opposition’s complaint (except their own results) about the enormous “rigged elections” in 299 constituencies? How could parties, which won in one attempt, lose all of a sudden all the 31-rerun elections? Wasn’t it mysterious even for a seasoned democrat, who wants to teach the ABC of democracy to the “illiterate” and newcomers, to clarify such a phenomenon? Ethiopia has entered the path of democracy without turning back the wheel for change for all generations to come. I think we agree with the chief observer that there are no more Mengistu, Hitler, Mussolini or generalissimo Franco to be afraid of. The preposterous and wicked assertions piled up without evidences and based on hearsay are one-sided and does not bode well for trust building measures. The EU-EOM report, which has become the laughing stock as a condescending document, should try to separate the wheat from the chaff and redress the damage on its independent position as an authority.



Point of Interest

Response to Maekele

Tsegai Berhe President of Tigray State
Interview with VOA'(Tigriniga)

AU Official: Ethiopian Vote Free & Fair, Opposition Complaints Exaggerated.

Joe De Capua

August 12, 2005

ክሕደት ወልፊ አይኮነን!! (Tigringa)

(Betrayal is not addiction)

Ethiopia's electoral investigation well conducted: EU.
Given the constraints in Ethiopia, the electoral board has done remarkable job in trying to bring the process to a satisfactory end, said Clarke.

ETHIOPIA: Prime Minister meets opposition leaders

ADDIS ABABA, 29 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - Ethiopia's political leaders have held their first ever face-to-face talks aimed at ending the deepening crisis over disputed legislative polls, an official said on Friday.

How we failed to lift Ethiopia's curse Sunday June 12, 2005

Who saved Birhan Woldu's life? July 7, 2005


A Sobering Lesson: The Menilik Factor and the New Defeatism "Alebabsew Biarsu Barem Yimelesu."


Emperors Tewodros II, Yohannes IV, Menilik II, and Myth of Colonialism

King Sahle Selassie, Emperor Menilik II, and the Betrayal of Ethiopia.


Treaty of Peace With Italy (1947), Evaluation, and Conclusion 


In Response To Modernization A Poisoned Chalice For Ethiopians.

Zewge Fanta