Ethiopia: New NEBE Chairperson Dismisses Skepticism of Partisanship

The House of Peoples` Representatives appointed Birtukan Mideksa as the new Chairperson of the National Electoral Board today.

Addis Ababa — The newly appointed Chairperson of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), Birtukan Mideksa, brushed off suggestions of political partisanship and stressed that her exposure as a former member of the opposition is a useful experience.

Upon her nomination by the Prime Minister today, concern about Birtukan's neutrality was raised by a parliamentarian as she was a member of the well-known opposition political party Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD).

Asked to respond to the question raised at the parliament, Birtukan told journalists that she had officially resigned from the party about seven years ago.

The former judge was in exile since her return to Ethiopia early this month.

Birtukan underscored that she will work to nurture a transparent and fair election system in the country.

The chairperson stated that she had joined a political party to help bring about change, including recognition of the rule of law and full respect for the implementation human rights.

Her political exposure is a good input that helps to know the complicated features of election, Birtukan said.

She further stated that the Ethiopian people are ready to build a democratic system and they want to hold the government accountable.

"We, the officials, have to pay the necessary sacrifice for democracy and good government system."

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