AU deploys observers for Ethiopian polls

The African Union (AU) has deployed its long-term observers for Ethiopia’s general elections scheduled to take place on June 21.

Following an invitation from Ethiopia, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, approved the deployment of both long- and short-term AU observers to the general elections in the Eastern African country, Xinhua news agency quoted a statement from the pan-African bloc issued on Saturday as saying.

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia announced last month that the countrys sixth general elections, which had been previously scheduled for June 5, would be held on June 21.

Drawn from various AU member states, eight long-term observers arrived in the capital Addis Ababa on June 2 and 3 to undertake observation and analysis of key aspects of the electoral process, particularly the political environment, electoral legal framework, the effectiveness and transparency of electoral preparation and administration, and campaign environment, the statement said.

The analysis will form a key part of AU’s overall assessment of the conduct of the June 21 elections in the country,it added.

The long-term observers, deployed in teams to cover different locations in the country, will be joined later by short-term observers, who will arrive in Ethiopia’s capital, approximately a week before the election day, according to the statement.

The mission will present its findings at a press conference in Addis Ababa shortly after the conclusion of the elections, where a preliminary statement will be released, which will also be followed by a more detailed final report that will include recommendations for improvement of future elections.

More than 31.7 million Ethiopians including more than 1.2 million prospective voters in Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa, have registered to cast their ballots.

Under Ethiopia’s parliamentary government system, the Prime Minister who is the highest authority of the land is selected from the party that wins the most seats at federal parliament level and will be sworn in after parliamentary vote.

–IANS

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