Addis Ababa — A two-day consultative meeting aimed at gathering inputs to amend the Proclamation on the Registration of Political Parties and Electoral Code of Conduct kicked off at the Inter-Continental Hotel today.
Legal and Justice Affairs Advisory Council Secretariat Head, Abduletif Kedir said the electoral system and the modalities of settlements of disputes in the election process will also be discussed.
In general, the discussion will exhaust issues that have been repeatedly raised by political parties over the previous years.
According to Abduletif, the consultation is crucial as political parties are the prominent stakeholders in the democratization process of the country.
He revealed that the advisory council has submitted a draft proclamation on the legal framework of the electoral system and restructuring of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia to the Council of Ministers.
Asked how soon the amendments and proclamations will be ready, the head said "all, with the exception of the proclamation on the electoral system which may require constitutional amendment, are expected to be finalized before the upcoming national election 2020."
In his keynote address, Senator Ben Knapen of the Netherland said "you (political parties) need to debate on these because without them people will not figure out which one to choose."
He urged all political parties to reach compromise in order to ensure that they secure seats in the parliament and fulfill the needs of their constituencies.
Ethiopia needs a smooth process towards democracy, Senator Knapen said, stressing "you (politicians) do not have to steer up emotions for it is very tempting in transitional times like this one."
The two-day meeting is jointly organized by the Office of the Attorney General, National Electoral Board of Ethiopia and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy.