The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia has recently said that the European Union's strange preconditions to deploy observers for the Sixth Round National Election of Ethiopia are totally against the sovereignty and security of the country. As EU's preconditions are controversial and contrary to the sovereignty of the nation, the Ethiopian government could not accept them, stating that "No election observers have requested similar preconditions in the history of Ethiopian general elections."
According to the Ministry, the two specified preconditions to designate election observers to Ethiopia are bringing private V-Sat communication technology and asking to disseminate a press conference about the election before the official briefing by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE).
Indubitably, a healthy mind here can question the intention of the EU. Presenting such strange preconditions undoubtedly questions its neutrality. The EU's role is to observe; it is not to certify the election. It is up to the NEBE and the peoples of Ethiopian to certify the election. It would be appropriate for the EU to limit itself to its roles. Trying to bring its own telecom technology where the national telecommunication system is prevalent would indicate that the EU could not realize that what it is trying to do is against the sovereignty of the country.
Indeed, planning to bring any telecom instrument that is out of the country's legalized telecom technical control system clearly indicates the hidden tendency of sustaining a colonial period administration. The EU's plan to bring irrelevant technology to the national telecom system is certainly inappropriate.
Truly, the coming election predominantly belongs to the people of Ethiopia; the outcome is their decision! They have been collecting the election cards to decide the right political party that will be leading the country in the next five years. For over two years, the country has prepared itself for this election. Besides this what the government has been doing indicates that it underscores the necessity of election to select a person or a political party for the highest public office. For instance, the NEBE along with the government has been facilitating the entire processes towards the election.
Moreover, the government repeatedly affirmed its determination to support the process of the election to be democratic, free and fair election. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was heard repeatedly saying, "We are determined to hold a democratic, free and fair as well as peaceful 6th Round National General Election." The NEBE and the regional leaders have been discussing ways that support the successful accomplishment of the election process. All these and other activities are the clearest indication that a democratic culture is being built in which differences are addressed through the ballot.
On the other hand, citizens have actively been taking the election card and pursuing to contribute their share to improve the fledgling democracy. As they are going to exercise their right to vote, they are waiting to see this historic election to be free, fair and democratic.
Interestingly, the Ethiopians have determined to make the coming election a historic and breakthrough for nation's politics. The competing political parties that had been banned from the previous elections have been invited to participate in this one. And, the NEBE, the government and the political parties have been carrying out their duties to make this election democratic, free and fair.
In short, with careful attention, the EU ought to revise its decision related to deploying observers for this historic election. Essentially, it has to make sure that all its decisions are not against the sovereignty of the nation.