By Fanuel Lakew
Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ) said that the intrigue made by the National Electoral Board would not hamper it from its struggle on the democratic journey it has embarked on and contend with vigour the upcoming election.
At a press conference held yesterday, UDJ National Council Chairperson Abebe Akalu told journalists that the Board wants to rule out the UDJ from the upcoming election or see a weak UDJ in terms of membership and mobilization. This shows that the governing party, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) is afraid of UDJ’s stance in the upcoming election and is anxious about losing its grip on power, Abebe added.
He said that the EPRDF has used the Board as an instrument to weaken the UDJ rather than make use of its own resources in facing the public in its election campaign.
Abebe also said: “The Board does not respond directly to our official and legal queries made through official letters, preferring to use instead the media for such purpose”.
“This shows that the Board hardly acts as an institution; it is rather run by individuals’ feelings,” Abebe added. He said: “The public media is also another similar instrument. It broadcasts slanted news on account of the activities of the UDJ, and in this sense it is acting just as the Board.”
Furthermore, Abebe added: “UDJ is planning to institute a case in court against the NEB on charges of creating obstacles in the rightful activities of the party towards the strong participation of the upcoming election.”
It is to be recalled that National Electoral Board Chairperson with a Rank of Minister Professor Merga Bekana had told journalists here recently that the UDJ’s selection of their leaders was illegal as it did not convene a rightful General Assembly violating their own bylaws and the Board’s Regulations and some of the elected leaders were people who had already left the party. He had also noted that the process was not attended by officials of the Board as the slated date had been changed without informing the Board.
The Board had also fixed a deadline to the two parties namely–Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) and All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP) to settle their differences and disagreements by January 11, 2015.
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