Addis Ababa — The House of Peoples' Representatives (HPR) appointed Birtukan Mideksa as the new Chairperson of the National Electoral Board (NEBE) today.
Nominated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Birtukan replaced Ambassador Samia Zekaria, who was chairperson of NEBE since last year.
Premier Abiy has pledged to deliver a credible election in 2020.
Birtukan recently returned to Ethiopia after seven years in exile in the United States and have been compelled to return by the ongoing reforms.
She has in the past years resigned from her position as chairperson of Ethiopian Unity Party and before being nominated to the chairpersonship NEBE, she has been engaged in the National Endowment for democracy in Washington D.C. as a non partisan research institute formed by Ethiopians.
She founded the opposition Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) party in 2008, and had previously worked with opposition parties including Rainbow Ethiopia: Movement for Democracy and Social Justice and Coalition for Unity and Democracy.
The National Electoral Board is accountable to the House of Peoples Representatives and is an independent and autonomous organ for conducting elections having its own legal personality.
The Broad has nine members who are nominated by the Prime Minister and appointed by the House of Peoples Representatives.
The composition of the Board Members has taken into consideration the national diversity, gender representation and includes legal professionals.
Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed who has implemented several reforms across the political, economic, social and diplomatic front, has also recently appointed several women to key government positions including the president.
Birtukan Midekssa was elected as the first female NEBE chairperson on the 7th regular session of this year's HPR meeting with 4 members against and 3 abstentions.