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Parties accuse electoral board of squandering funds

ESAT News (Dec. 20)—Thirty-three political parties have urged the National Electoral Board not to waste public funds under the pretext of holding elections. The joint statement issued by the parties criticized the regime for squandering public resources to organize inconsequential elections.

They mentioned a recent forum held at the Executive Hotel in Adama which was aimed at discussing the forthcoming local elections .  The parties complained that the board ignored a petition they submitted demanding the electoral body to convene a discussion on the overall environment and constricted political space that has made it impossible for them to have a level playing field. They also accused the board of sidelining more serious issues and calling them for a meeting to discuss issues related only to gender and elections.

The 33 political parties that feel to have been marginalized by the ruling party have demanded that the electoral board, which is widely accused of being partisan in favor of the TPLF-led regime, should be reorganized. They also requested free and equal access to the public media, among other things.