Ethiopian ruling party, opposition agree to reform electoral system – Xinhua

by Zelalem

ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) — Ethiopia’s ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and 15 opposition parties agreed on Friday to reform the country’s electoral system and scrap the simple majority vote system.

Under the new electoral rule, Ethiopia will have a hybrid electoral system composed of 80 percent simple majority vote system and 20 percent proportional vote electoral system.

The two sides have been locked in discussions for months on reforming Ethiopia’s electoral law which follows simple majority vote system.

Ethiopia’s fragmented opposition parties say the simple majority system unfairly favors EPRDF and marginalizes the diverse voices of opposition supporters.

EPRDF and opposition parties also agreed to increase the federal parliamentary seats from the current 547 to 660 to accommodate the electoral system changes.

In the last national election in May 2015, EPRDF and allied regional parties swept all 547 federal parliamentary seats, sparking criticism against the simple majority voting system.

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