Monday, December 29, 2014

Ethiopian opposition figure downplays reports of job dismissal - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

An Ethiopian opposition leader on Sunday dismissed reports alleging he has been fired from his job at the government-run Addis Ababa University.
Local media outlets reported that the leader of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, Merara Gudina, who chairs also the coalition of opposition parties MEDREK was fired from his academic professorial position.
The reports indicated that Gudina, an associate professor of political science at Addis Ababa University, was fired for his political views and due to the growing popularity he gained among university students in the build-up of the upcoming general elections.
“I haven’t received any letter of dismissal from the University,” Gudina told Sudan Tribune.
However, he claimed that the University has withheld his seven month salary for unknown reason.
“The university didn’t pay my salary since June while other employees were paid,” said Gudina adding “I don’t know why but I am in debate with the concerned bodies to release my salary”
The former MP is known of his democracy-related critics against the ruling party. Referring to the previously-fired opponents, opposition circles say Gudina is most likely to be fired soon.
Recently two opposition members who have been working at Ethiopian Airlines and Commercial Bank of Ethiopia were reportedly fired from their jobs.
Opposition members said their dismissal was politically motivated but government authorities said it was taken on disciplinary administrative measures.
International right groups are accusing the horn of Africa’s nation of tightening crackdown on independent media and opposition members ahead of the polls slated for May 2015.
In October, Amnesty International accused the Ethiopian government of illegally detaining over 5,000 members of the Oromo ethnic group, over the past four years to squash political dissent.
According to Amnesty, the detainees are accused of supporting the Oromo Liberation Front, a movement labelled by government as terrorist entity.
Ethiopia has repeatedly denied allegations of illegal detention and harassment, describing it as fabricated accusations aiming to tarnish image of the country.
The country’s electoral board this week said the country is prepared to conduct a democratic, free and fair election.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Nine Ethiopia: Parties to "Cooperate" for Upcoming Election against the regime

By Neamin Ashenafi

Nine opposition parties have formed a platform for cooperation to stand together in the upcoming election and, in the long run, to create a platform where the parties can work together to ensure the existence of free, fair, participatory and credible elections, to expand the political space and to work on issues related to human and democratic rights of citizens.
The cooperation between these parties was disclosed on October 22 at the offices of the Semayawi Party (Blue) and, according to the statement given by the organizers of the cooperation, Yilikal Getnet (Eng.) of Semaywi Party and Girma Bekele of the Omo Peoples' Democratic Unity were elected as chairman and secretary of the cooperation, respectively.
The nine parties that formed the cooperation are the All Ethiopian Unity Organization (AEUO), the All Ethiopian Democratic Party (AEDP), All Amhara People's Organization (AAPO), Semayawi Party, Sodo Gordena Peoples' Democratic Organization (SGPDO), Ethiopian National Unity Party (ENUP), Omo Peoples' Democratic Union (OPDU), Kembata Peoples' Congress (KPC), and Gedio People's Democratic Organization (GPDO).
The cooperation is mainly aimed at creating an environment for a free, fair, participatory and credible election, expanding the political space and ensuring citizens human and democratic rights .And, apart from these issues related to the upcoming national election, the parties also aim at creating one strong alliance to ensure these political demands, the leaders said during the press conference.
Members of the parties in the cooperation are both national and regional-based and in response to The Reporter's questions regarding the impact the cooperation would have on future relations, the leaders replied: "Since we have been working together for a long it doesn't impose challenges in our relation in the future."
By the same token, since the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) is the authoritative body in relation to parties' affairs the leaders were also asked about their relation with the board and in this regard, "We are allowed to cooperate any time without notifying the board, therefore we don't have to give any notification to the board," the secretary of the cooperation said.
The leaders of the cooperation stated that they were revising and identifying the major pitfalls of the opposition camps in relation to working together. "We found out that the major reason for the failure of the opposition parties to work together was the problems in the internal democracy of the parties and the supremacy of individuals above the parties, and since we identified these as major challenges we are able not to be trapped by the same challenges in this cooperation," the leaders said.
They also said that since the failed coalition that occurred in the 2005 elections, there were many other initiatives and it is obvious that the initiatives to work together in the opposition camps is lagging behind and this cooperation is aimed at its best to change this attitude through society.
During the course of the negotiation there were about 12 parties engaged in the process until the final stage and parties like Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) and other parties from Forum for Democratic Dialogue in Ethiopia (Medrek) were not signing the cooperation agreement due to some technical difficulties, however, they said that they would be back soon after finalizing their issues, according to the chairman and the secretary.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

'India can be role model in conducting smooth polls' for Ethiopia | Business Standard

The sheer scale of the Indian general  has left them marveling. Members of an international delegation that is in to witness the  elections are highly impressed by the smooth conduct of polls and say India has become a learning centre for other developing countries.
"We visited a model polling station in Delhi and witnessing the magnificent arrangements for voters. It also shows that polls of such magnitude can be conducted in such a smooth manner. This would help the other developing countries too," Abednego Akok, Chief Election Commissioner of South Sudan, told IANS.
Akok, who had witnessed the arrangements for the Delhi assembly polls in December last year, said "India has become a learning center for developing countries of the world. Despite being the world's largest democracy and being prone to hassles like population, problems due to a multi-party system and frequent violation of the by political parties, the Election Commission of India is able to conduct polls in a very smooth manner," Akok said.
Akok is part of the 30-member delegation from 19 countries that visited polling stations in other states as well as the national capital. Besides Akok, the delegation includes senior election officials from Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and a few other developing countries.
"The Indian government can be the perfect partner for a young country like South Sudan in the area of training of staff and use of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) system, which are very essential for smooth conduct of polls," said the CEC of South Sudan, which became an independent nation in 2012 and its poll panel was set up a year ago.
Muiugeta, a senior election officer from Ethiopia, praised the awareness campaigns launched by the poll panel and the Systematic Voters Systematic Voters' Education And Electoral Participation(SVEEP) - an initiative to motivate people to come out and vote.
He also appreciated the use of the newly-introduced paper trail in EVMs and wants it to be used in his country too.
Muiugeta said he had seen EVMs with paper trail in Belgium which had been kept for demonstration, while in India it was used in selected polling stations of the national capital.
"During my visit to polling stations in Delhi, i witnessed the immense excitement among the voters whereas in Ethiopia even the awareness campaigns fail to bring voters to polling booths, " Muiugeta told IANS.
He said the Ethiopian government wants the Election Commission of India to guide and provide training to his country to make them "election oriented" to conduct the polls smoothly.
Muiugeta was also amazed to know that unrecognized political parties are allowed to contest polls in India, which is not allowed in Ethiopia.
There are a total of 72 recognised political parties in Ethiopia. India has a staggering 1,617 unrecognised political parties while there are six national and 47 state recognised parties.
Rigzen Lhundrup, a senior election official from Bhutan, said: "The best thing about the poll process in India is the systematic way it is conducted despite India being the second most populated country in the world".
He said Bhutan has a similar poll process, but despite measure taken by the Bhutanese government the polling is often not a smooth affair. Additional security is deployed many times to bring the situation under control.
"India can be a role model for the developing nations and we can learn a lot about how to conduct the polls in a smooth and fair manner. India's role has been magnificent in conducting the polls in Bhutan in a fair and smooth manner," Lhundrup told IANS.
Bhutan was provided over 3,000 electronic voting machines recently for the polls.
(Rupesh Dutta can be contacted at

Friday, February 14, 2014

Tcherno DJALO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE FOR 2014 OF GUINEA-BISSAU - "We have something that looks like a state, but that is not a"

Tcherno DJALO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE FOR 2014 OF GUINEA-BISSAU - "We have something that looks like a state, but that is not one"Tcherno DJALO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE FOR 2014 OF GUINEA-BISSAU - "We have something that looks like a state, but that is not one"
The OBS - "New hope for Guinea-Bissau," is his campaign slogan, his promise to the people of Guinea. Former minister and Professor of Political Science, Tcherno Djalo candidate in the presidential election of 16 March in Guinea-Bissau, Guinea wants to rethink the state.

Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

I'm Tcherno Djalo, I am 53 years old, I am PhD in Political Science from the University of Geneva. I was the founding Rector of the first university in Guinea-Bissau, Amilcar Cabral University. I was also Minister of Education and Higher Education, 2005-2007. When I left government, I was invited to Lisbon to teach. And now, I am Professor of Political Science. I returned last year to participate in the standardization process and recovery of my country, declaring, since last July, my candidacy in the presidential election of 16 March 2014.

Are you an activist in a political party, or is it a separate application?

I am an independent candidate supported by a citizen movement. We assume that the country needs new leadership, there are 42 political parties in the country and these parties have divided the country. Today, it is the country that is at the service of these parties and not the reverse. So we are a citizen movement, assuming that the challenges the country beyond the partisan political framework must find consensus figures to build bridges and allow the country to find a broad political and social consensus to deal with challenges we face.

So you have never been active in a political party?

Initially, during the war of liberation, I was part of the youth of the PAIGC (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde). But later, I walked away from the party and I followed an academic career. I was teaching in Geneva, Portugal and here in Guinea-Bissau. I have not been an active militant in a party.

Today, what prompted you to introduce you to the presidential election?

This is simply an awareness of the urgency that we have to recover our country. If we do not stand up now, we will end up one day with a mere territory instead of a country. Guinea-Bissau in the last 40 years can be summed to a total bankruptcy, political, diplomatic social economic, ... So it is high time that Guineans rise and are at the service of their country to inaugurate a new policy cycle, with people totally committed and who have not been involved in everything the country was known as violent crimes, political crimes, coups, corruption, drug trafficking ... In other words, a clean leadership restore credibility and confidence of the international community vis-à-vis the Guinea.

This is the first time you show up at a Presidential, do you have the means necessary to win?

What we need is not to reproduce the system that has led us to where we are today. The great desire of Guinea-Bissau is to turn the page and start with politicians who do not drag pans, that is to say, credible, competent and committed people to leave the country this cycle policy. Such is the force that drives us and it is the aspiration of all Guineans.

There are many candidates in this election, what do you propose new Guineans?

It is first challenges base. Our priority is solving the issue of energy. For 40 years, the country has failed to solve this problem. And without energy, you can not have development or wealth creation, so the energy is fundamental. Then there is agriculture. We can not talk of famine in a country like Guinea-Bissau, it is a nonsense. He then there education and health. If in the past, our brothers who have not gone to school took up arms to liberate the country today to develop, it must pass through education. So the energy, agriculture, education and health are our four priority areas. After that, there is justice, the fight against organized crime, the reform of the defense sector and security, to ensure that the Armed Forces are resized and readjusted our real security needs. There is also another very important project that is rebuilding the state. We have great weaknesses, some chosequi like a state, but that is not a State. So we must rethink the structures of the State of Guinea-Bissau, in our opinion, through the organization of a referendum for a constitutional amendment to adopt a presidential system. We are the only country in West Africa to have a semi-presidential system, a two-headed that we inherited from Portugal and is a source of tension and permanent paralysis of the state apparatus. We need to review the structure of Parliament, decentralizing power to local and municipal level, we must completely rethink the organization of our state.

Do not you fear that there is friction with Parliament in case of constitutional revision?

We will go through a referendum so that people will decide on the matter, as we know whether to continue with this regime, to date, has demonstrated inefficiency or so whether to move to a regime more suited to our political culture. So it will be a debate on which the Guinean people will vote.

You listed four priority areas, how do you go about developing them?

What we want is to elect these sectors focus area of ​​investment, it is the basis of development. Starting from the observation that people who have enough energy, which is well fed and good conditions of health and education, has the basic conditions to develop. To build, you must start with the basics, and these are the basics.

Now, how is the Guinea politically?

There was the coup of 12 March, which put an end to the electoral process, now there is a transitional government. So we are in a transition that will have to go beyond the constitutional standards and address the real challenges of development.

It is noted that Guinea-Bissau is often faced with political crises, coups ... In your opinion, what explains this situation?

This is due to our history of liberation struggle which was a success. But what is the transition to independence, there have been failures. And it is because we are facing the need to balance two legitimate: a warrior legitimacy that comes from the struggle for liberation and democratic legitimacy. So it is a problem of coexistence between the political class and the military class. It should be completely rethink the way politicians have led the country. It also requires that military know their real mission is to defend the country and not to interfere in the political affairs. It is a balance must be found to start a new political cycle.

But what is the cause of political instability in Guinea-Bissau?

This is the problem of governance in the country. We in the State armed men and businessmen. It is time that we have statesmen in the state, people who think primarily in the public interest. That is our main problem is to treat the head of the country. We must change the way we do politics in Guinea-Bissau.

Which solutions crisis will you make if elected?

It is a question of posture, an example to propose another model and make sure you arrive at a time when the past festers over the future. Forget the wrong that has been done and think that we will do. You can not change a society by the speech is by example and by the spirit of reconciliation that we are going to see the Guineans that violence and force are ways of destruction. We must choose a new path of healing and reconciliation. The attitude of one who is to be decisive to appease the spirits and create a secure environment for everyone.

Guinea is deemed to be a hub of drug trafficking, how do you explain that?

Drug trafficking and organized crime are crosscutting issues is a scourge that affects all countries. But we are very targeted because of the fragility of the Guinean government, which makes it more victim than criminal. There must be at the highest level a strong speech and uncompromised vis-à-vis organized crime and drug trafficking. This is what has been lacking until now and that is we label narco-state. For us, it will be a relentless battle, and we will need the support of all our partners to close our borders to traffic drugs.

A final word on the location of the electorate Guinea?

I tell them not to lose hope that what we have experienced in recent years, it's just a blip, but we have the ability to resolve this situation. There are countries that have experienced worse. We have preserved the essential, which is the tolerance of the people, all the problems are in power. So once we have resolved that, I think we have all the conditions for the Guineans feel proud of their country and that the country's image is restored. This is a challenge that is within our reach.

Adama Dieng

Tcherno Djalo, an independent candidate in the presidential elections in Guinea-Bissau: "Meeting the challenges of recovery of our country"
Former Minister of Education and Higher Education in Guinea-Bissau from 2005 to 2007, Tcherno Djalo is a presidential candidate that his country holds March 16. In the interview he gave us, Mr. Djalo was up its commitment towards the Presidential Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Lisbon Lusofona says her ambition is "to redress the Guinea -Bissau. "
Independent candidate in the presidential election in Guinea-Bissau, Tcherno Djalo is supported by a coalition of citizens' movements. 53 years old, married and father of three children, he promises Guineans a recovery plan to pull the country out of West Africa to the economic crisis, political and social. "My candidacy is that we have a great challenge to straighten our country. It is a country that has had a chaotic journey over the past 40 years. Our country is in total bankruptcy. It will be all son rise to rehabilitate the country. Our challenge is that. If we do not wake up now, we will wake up one day and find that we no longer a country but a mere territory, "he said during a visit to Senegal.
commitment to meet the challenges of recovery shoulder, Tcherno Djalo has resigned as professor of political science to return to Guinea. "I tell my Guinean brothers we have to go to another country. Should be another political cycle in Guinea-Bissau different from the way we have come up today, "he says.
Mr Djalo, this political cycle which will open in Guinea must consist of a new generation of politicians. "People who do not drag pans. People who are not involved in violent crimes that took place in the country. Must be credible interlocutors recognized nationally and internationally. You need people who have the moral authority to draw another path. That is what is important, "he insists.
Former Assistant Resident Representative UNDP to coordinate the UN system in Guinea-Bissau stressed that his country "is a small state where everyone knows ". "If you're General, people know your route from the liberation struggle. If you are an intellectual, people know your academic background. If you are a rich man, the citizens know the source of this wealth. This is what makes the particularity of Guinea-Bissau. It is high time to start a new political cycle. We must straighten our country. To recover, Guinea-Bissau Guineans need to agree among themselves, unite and reconcile, "insists Mr. Djalo.
Tcherno Djalo believes that Guinea-Bissau needs a president who highlights the country's interests to ensure a good social cohesion. "If the politicians can not take the country's priorities at the expense of individual priorities, it gives an excuse for the military to intervene in state affairs. So we need politicians concerned about the interests of the country. We have a cohabitation that must be managed, "he says. Tcherno Djalo promises to strengthen ties between his country and Senegal. "I just tell the Senegal Guinea-Bissau is a strategic partner. Guinea-Bissau and Senegal have a common cultural and geopolitical interest. We have long-standing relations. The Casamance conflict is an internal problem in Senegal, but has implications beyond Senegal's borders, especially in Guinea-Bissau. Senegal is the country with the greatest interest to see a Guinea-Bissau reconciled and stable. We need partners who are on the same wavelength as the Senegal to create a peaceful space for the benefit of both countries, "does he know length.

Babacar DION