OLF Statement on National Election and Current Crises of Federal Democratic Republic
The Oromo Liberation Front believes in fair and free election and the establishment of inclusive democratic government in Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE). We currently observe the ruling party is planning to conduct the 6th national election in 2021.
We believe that assuring peace and security, and involvements of opposition parties are essential to conduct democratic election that will have positive impact on solving political problems in the country. However, it seems bogus rather than truth to plan election under current crises in FDRE. Even though the ruling party wants to conceal the existing problems and divert attention towards national election, it is obvious that the country has already indulged into complex security crises and political catastrophes.
For the last two and half years, the OLF and other substantive political parties has anticipated these crises and suggested to the ruling party to address the fundamental political issues before it was too late. We also offered our support to maintain law and order that governs equally all and to shape the democratic reform process. However, the ruling party has not only ignored our suggestions but also used its security apparatus to crack our organization and halted our operation throughout the country. Still there are huge political problems that were not addressed. Also, there is a constitutional crises and problems of citizens and questions of opposition parties were not treated according to the rules and regulations set out in the FDRE constitution. The judiciary system is not independently functioning; the security structure, police and other armed forces are ruling the country without clear court order; regional states like Oromia are still under military command posts and the civil administration structures have been dismantled.
Although OLF want to take part in the election, it is practically impossible under current circumstances as almost all our members, leaders and supporters that are potential for candidacy and observer are in prison at all levels.
Also, all the OLF offices around the country including the headquarters in Finfinnee had been confiscated, closed and controlled by the ruling party security apparatus. Even though we repeatedly provided the updated lists of our detained members and the closure of our offices to the National Electoral Board of FDRE (NEBE), we did not receive any tangible response to our appeals and it is now four months. This put the capacity and effectiveness of NEBE and the decision it takes into question and to independently operate. Still the detention of our members and supporters has continued and individuals who sympathize the OLF are hunted and killed or detained everywhere in the country. Due to these widespread atrocities and continuous physical coercion and intimidation, the citizens of Oromia are unable to speak freely, not alone to go out and vote in election.
Although the conflicts in Oromia region, were undergoing for long time, currently it is in escalating momentum. There are protests, violence, and conflicts everywhere.
There are huge displacements of people and humanitarian crises has destabilized the Oromia regional state as well as neighbouring nations. The current conflict in the northern Ethiopia has also impact on the displacement of people. Currently the escalating political issues and the security of the country is in dangerous situations as other third party actors are exacerbating the complicated situation.
Therefore, we believe that solving the political crises through peaceful inclusive dialogue comes first before jumping into nominal election. We had been through fake election for the last 27 years that resulted in huge crises to the country’s political system. We believe that repeating the same mistake would even create more chaos and endanger the country and its neighbouring nations.
We recommend that repairing the fractured administrative regions and restoring peace and security must be undertaken before the election takes place. Still volatile situations are escalating in Oromia and other regions. The ruling party trying to solve the problems through armed forces and through total control over the population. In this regard, we are concerned about the current remark Dr. Abiy Ahmed made in Moyale on 10/12/20 during his state visit to Kenya. He mentioned eliminating the OLF, the main driver of Oromia National Transitional Government (ONTG), in the region and called the Kenyan government to support him. This is another devastating move and clear evidence that the ruling party wants to get rid of opposition parties and run election on its own. On this occasion we would like to caution the Kenyan Government that it should not be involved against Oromo national freedom struggle and get in conflict with the Oromo people who share communities in the cross borders and coexisted for centuries.
Finally, OLF would like to reiterate that before holding election, the complex political problems must be resolved; the Oromia regional state must be repaired and ONTG established; and sufficient frameworks prepared for Inclusive dialogue and consensus reached in line with the call by African Union (AU). We are ready to play our role in paving the way for inclusive dialogue and possible agreed upon election”
Victory to the Masses!
Oromo Liberation Front
December 12, 2020