ADDIS ABABA – The European Union (EU) has said in a statement seen by Sudans Post that it has not agreed with the Ethiopian government on parameters of its election observatory role, despite millions of EUROs in funding for the elections set for next month.
“Despite all efforts by the European Union, it was not possible to reach an agreement with Ethiopian authorities on key parameters for the deployment of an EU Electoral Observation Mission in view of the parliamentary elections on 5 June 2021,” a statement by the EU High Representative Josep Borrell on Monday night reads.
“As conditions are not fulfilled, the deployment of the mission has to be cancelled,” it adds.
Elections in Ethiopia were initially set for August 2020, but were postponed indefinitely due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. It early this year proposed conduct of elections in June with EU announcing €20 million for support of the parliamentary elections.
While stressing the importance of electoral observation in democracy, the EU said it “regrets the refusal of the fulfillment of standard requirements for the deployment of any Electoral Observation Mission, namely the independence of the Mission and the import of mission communication systems, something that is key for the security of EU observers, in particular in the context of a challenging security environment. This situation also impacts election preparations, including voter registration. ”
“It is disappointing that the EU has not received the assurances necessary to extend to the Ethiopian people one of its most visible signs of support for their quest for democracy. The EU encourages the Ethiopian authorities to increase efforts to guarantee all Ethiopians can exercise their legitimate political and civil rights,” it adds.