Statement on the unjust electoral map unveiled by NEBE’s
For immediate release, March 16th, 2020
(SRAJ) — SRAJ strongly denounces National Electoral Board of Ethiopia’s total disregard for the Somali people’s plea for revision of the electoral map to reflect the demographic reality of this country and respect the constitution for once.
It is very depressing that NEBE shows so little respect for their own designed election law by ignoring it is mandated of doing a thorough study and propose an appropriate electoral map to the House of Federation for approval. It is even more depressing that NEBE takes the mandate of preparing an electoral map, which rests on the HoF, upon itself without the legally required study and then unveils it with so little stakeholders participation.
Such a cavalier approach by NEBE to the all-important mandate vested on it is so dangerous that it puts the democratization process in serious jeopardy, not to mention how it dangers the lives of so many citizens as a result of disputes arising from such processes. Notably, the erroneous electoral and regional administrative maps that don’t correspond to each other is a recipe for disaster.
It goes without saying that SRAJ is worried by how badly the NEBE is prepared to administer a a credible, free and fair within the schedule they set themselves. If NEBE can’t prepare an electoral map in the manner set out in the constitution, it is clear that they aren’t prepared for anything else.
SRAJ also categorically rejects NEBE’s rationale that there is no newly released demographics data and hence it can’t issue a newly revised electoral map. Since the current electoral map and the total 547 seats as well as the 23 seats that are at least 15 seats below Somali people’s fair allotment, were based on the 1994 census and never changed since.
NEBE could have at least used the last official census (2007). In that case, the NEBE would at least have the opportunity to correct some of the historical injustices and marginalization against the Somali people that resulted in the under-representation of Somalis in the federal parliament.
We also urge the Somali regional government, the Somali political parties and every Somali to reject this pitiful decision by NEBE and a ruling party, the Prosperity Party, that often claims to stand for unity and justice but are clearly not.