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Ethiopia's activist turned politician raises 'red flag' over proposed poll date

Jawar Mohammed, an influential political activist turned politician is among many Ethiopians reacting to the announcement of a date for elections slated for this year.

According to him, many people have long suspected that the ruling party is by the August date seeking to leverage on incumbency to “lock out” opposition parties especially from reaching rural areas.

A major concern of the August 16 date though provisional has been that Ethiopia’s rainy season falls in the month. But the National Elections Board of Ethiopia, NEBE, downplayed the concern saying it was going to liaise with federal and regional governments to deploy logistics.

In one post he described the choice of August as crazy given that it was the “rainiest month,” after stating the logistical nightmare that looms, he added: “August is a No Go for election.”

One of Jawar’s post read: “By the way many suspect planning to hold the election in August is meant to favor the ruling party that controls state’s transportation resources and hinder poorly resourced opposition from accessing rural areas.

“And ironically as early as 6 months ago, ruling party leaders were saying election will be held in August. Coincidence?” Read more...

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