13 July 2012 [ESAT]
The notorious secretary of Ethiopian Election Board, Tesfaye Mengesha, is no longer holding his position he has held for more than a decade. Nega Dufisa has been installed in his place.
Tesfaye has repeatedly been accused of working with the ruling TPLF/EPRDF to set up a completely rigged process that in the previous three elections has delivered sweeping election victory for the front.
In the controversial 2005 election, Tesfaye has singlehandedly played an instrumental role in rerunning selected elections where top officials of the ruling EPRDF had lost by huge margin there by swinging back the vote 100% in the EPRDF’s favour.
No information has been given by the board as to why Tesfaye was sacked.
Tesfaye has had an ongoing health issues and observers of the institution allege he might be relieved of his responsibility because of his deteriorating health.
Professor Merga Beqana, head of the election board, has proposed Nega Dufisa and Wondimu Gola as secretary and vice secretary of the board in the extraordinary sitting of parliament last Wednesday. The parliament has approved the nomination with super majority vote except one nay by the lone opposition parliamentarian, Girma Seyfu.
The new secretary and vice secretary are former heads of various branch organizations at the EEBC’s national apparatus. MP Girma Seyfu has registered his protest vote on their nominations citing their long career in a politically skewed bureaucracy of EEBC. According to the MP, EEBC has proved itself to be an impartial organization, and he wouldn’t expect these individuals to show impartiality given the fact that they have been working in the same structure before their current nomination.
Tesfaye has always been depicted as the face of EEBC and many see him as instrument of outright vote rigging the country’s elections are now famous for.