Ethiopia’s Electoral Board Decides On UDJ and AEUP Fate

Tayitu 14th Tayitu 14th

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has today announced its decision on the leadership fate of two of the major opposition parties rocked by split: Union for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) and All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP).

Accordingly, the NEBE announced that it recognizes UDJ’s breakaway led by Tiguestu Awolu and said the party is now legitimate to enter into the upcoming general elections scheduled to be held on May 24th 2015. In a similar decision the electoral board said it recognizes AEUP led by its President Abebaw Mehari over the other faction led by Mamushet Amare.

Both UDJ and AEUP were consumed by power struggle for legitimate executive representation. The Board has announced today that it has reached at the decision after giving all parties enough time to resolve their issues on their own.

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The two groups battling for leadership of the UDJ, one under Belay Fekadu and another under Tiguestu Awolu, have claimed they were both the legitimate executives of the party. NEBE has now recognized the new faction led by Tiguestu as the legitimate representative of the party.

UDJ’s leadership, under Belay Fekadu, was voted into the office as of October last year following the unexpected departure of the party’s President Eng. Gizachew Shiferaw. Belay’s faction, that includes the lone opposition MP in the current parliament, Girma Seifu (pictured), maintains that it followed the party’s bylaws to change its leadership after the unexpected resignation its former President. The new breakaway led by NEBE’s choice Tiguestu Awolu accused the party of improper conducts during the election of Belay Fekadu as the president, a claim Belay’s UDJ denies.

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The two parties recognized by the electoral board can now enter the election, said officials from the Board, who were unwilling to accept questions from journalists during the announced this afternoon.

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