Today, Ethiopians are going to the polls to elect candidates for parliament and local offices. Almost all of the opposition parties had called for the postponement of the election because over 30 percent of the country is unable to vote as a result of various conflicts. Ethiopian jails have also once again been filled up with political prisoners. In the Oromia Region, there are up to 10,000 political prisoners, according to the Oromo Federal Congress (OFC). Two of OFC’s most prominent leaders, Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba, are among the thousands of political prisoners. Four of Balders Party leaders, including the chairman, Eskinder Nega, are in prison, accused of trumped-up charges by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s regime.
As if all that is not enough, today, electors in Addis Ababa and other parts of the country are expressing grievances about voting stations running out of ballots and extremely long lines.
The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), which is led by Birtukan Mideksa, is making the election a joke by failing to carry out even the most elementary duties, such as providing enough ballots to voting stations.
If there is any bit of common sense left in Birtukan’s brain, she would invalidate the entire election and hold another one after sufficient preparation.