Electoral Boards Issues License to ONLF & Three other parties

ADDIS ABEBA – The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) is among four parties that have been licensed by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) on Monday.

Officials of the former rebels group ONLF returned to Ethiopia two years ago as part of a peace deal reached with the federal government.

The two sides reached a historic deal that allowed the ONLF to undertake peaceful political struggle in Ethiopia after laying down its arms.

The party on Monday has received a license which will allow its members to compete in the upcoming election after fulfilling the requirements set under the country’s new electoral law.

The electoral board has also issued licenses to the Afar People Party (APP), Gamo Democratic Party (GDP) and Afar Liberation Front Party (ALFP).

Earlier last week, officials of the board had requested a number of existing political parties to fulfill requirements set by the new law.

While four parties have completed the requirements, two others failed to live up to the demand.

Accordingly, NEBE has revoked licenses of All Oromo People Democratic Party (AOPDP) and Sidama National Democratic Party (SNDP).

AOPDP met only 35pc of requirements in founding members’ signature sample verification, and failed to submit confirmation of residential ID cards of 1,142 founding members while SNDP didn’t submit verification of its 778 founding members, according to the electoral board.

As per the election calendar announced last week, Ethiopia will hold a parliamentary election on June 5, 2021.

The Board said next year’s calendar for polls did not include an election in Tigray, adding that the date for the vote would be set once an interim government opened election offices.