By Jonas tameru
As we all know the upcoming kebele & city elections are scheduled to be carried out in the coming month. This election is being carried out with the intention of giving the public a chance to elect its leaders at the lower level of administration. It is known that in Ethiopia most of the government policies and directives are implemented by these lower levels of administration like the sub city and the kebele offices. This kebele and sub city offices are a very important and critical part of the government’s administration because it is through these offices that the public gets service from the government. It is up to these lower level administrative offices to either serve the public honestly or corruptly and the whole structure of the ruling government is reflected by these offices. So in this sense the public judges and weighs its government based mostly on the quality of service it receives from these offices.
For the reasons aforementioned, the upcoming elections are very important in determining the services that will be delivered to the public for the coming 5 years. It will also play an important role in determining the public’s satisfaction with the current government or if it is fed up with it and wants a new government which will be determined by the national elections that will be held in 2015. So in general the upcoming elections have a high stake for both the ruling party and its oppositions.
Although the current elections have not been given much attention by the public due to little coverage by the media, both the ruling party and opposition parties are taking various steps of campaigning for their respective sides. But as usual the ruling party EPRDF is displaying its coward ways by oppressing the opposition through various methods.
For example on Saturday 16 March 2013, opposition parties called for a rally on the 6kilo street at the Yekatit 12 round about. This rally was not a violent one but rather intended to boost the support for the opposition and to raise the public awareness about the elections. But the government decided to send the federal police officers to disperse the crowd with the false reason of the rally being illegal. And the federal police, instead of conversing with the rally organizers to sort out the miss understanding, decided to resort to force full ways to chase the crowd violently. This is a clear display of how vulnerable the government really is and the evil ways it follows to ensure its control of power.
Even though the government claims that Ethiopia holds free and democratic elections, that is not the case in reality. Rather a clear offence of the democratic process of elections. I long for the day when Ethiopia will have truly free and democratic elections where oppositions will not be oppressed of its right to campaign freely without the influence of the ruling party and its iron fist.