ADDIS ABABA--The government, National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), Civil Society Organization and other concerned bodies have to combine efforts so as to overcome election related challenges , so said Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice Party (Ezema).
Ezema Public Relations and Communication Head Zelalem Workagenhu told The Ethiopian Herald that the number of people who are being registered to vote is low for various reasons. Hence, empowering the public to register and vote for their preference needs the combined effort of all.
He said the delay witnessed in opening election registration stations, absence of election registration station in some parts of the nation, civil society organization certification delay to raise the public awareness about election, democracy and many other aspects are attributable to the low level of voter registration.
Besides, Civil Society Organizations are not actively engaged in raising public awareness regarding the entire process of the election.
"The opened election registration stations are not convenient to all who come to register, and they are not working properly. Contending parties' dialogue delay as it has been based on the unwillingness of the ruling party are also additional problems," he said.
Addressing all these problems and encourage the society to get registered and vote the government whom they think to work hard in a democratic manner l, he said.
Civil society organizations should commence activities that help and inspire the public to register and elect in a free, fair and democratic way as it is unthinkable to come up with democratic government and democratic election without active public participation, he said.
He also urged the government and NEBE to open the remained election registration stations and make circumstances suit for the public to be registered and able to vote. To make this happen, integrated effort from all sides is unquestionable.
Extending the registration day following legal procedure is key to invite and provide the electorate with ample chance to get registered with a view to helping them vote the party by which they are going to be represented.
Agency for Civil Society Organization told The Ethiopian Herald that the it has been following up civil society organizations to check whether they are working via keeping legal order and sticking the do's and don'ts or not.
The Agency's Director General Jima Delebo said that some 155 civil organizations have obtained license from both the agency and NEBE to run activities like voter education and raise public awareness in order to empower the public to exercise their rights to independently and freely elect.
He also said that many organizations have secured license from NEBE recently. However, they are not widely engaging in public empowering activities in relations to election due to various problems.
The organizations suffer from low number of skilled manpower, and financial constraints which hinder them not to operate at expected level though election determines the future of the country. Thus every citizenry needs to take election cards and have to vote for their future, he underscored.