US Senators’ Call for Extension of Ethiopian Election Unwise, Dangerous – Lawrence Freeman
“The call by US senators for an extension of the Ethiopian election is unwise and dangerous,” said Lawrence Freeman, an African political-economic analyst for the past 30 years.
In a post on her website Africa and the World, Lawrence Freeman noted that the 6th general election in Ethiopia is crucial for the Horn of Africa beyond Ethiopia.
On the eve of his visit to the region, US Special Envoy Jeffrey Feltman wrote a letter to five senators regarding the situation in Ethiopia.
According to Freeman: The senators are not aware of the situation in Ethiopia.
Thus, they point out that they do not understand the dangers of asking for an extension.
“Ethiopia must be a sovereign state, regardless of Western pressure, so that citizens can exercise their right to vote,” he said. He noted that the senators did not recognize the unique nature of Ethiopian society.
The senators did not even reflect on Ethiopia’s 125-year history, the report said. He also said it would be good if they could see the efforts of the non-ethnic prosperity party, now led by Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed, since the reign of Menelik II since the victory of Adwa in 1888.
He explained that the senators, who could not be reached for comment, wrote their letter based on news reports and Amnesty International’s report.
According to the senators’ letter, the allegations are baseless and unrealistic. “Several opposition parties have now announced that they have decided to abstain because the election is credible and unacceptable,” he said in a statement.
Freeman said it was outrageous that the senators had raised the issue and called for an extension of the election in defiance of Ethiopia’s sovereignty.
“As far as I know, only one party withdrew from the election,” Freeman said. The senators’ letter indicated that it was an unwise act to cover up the election.
Fitsum Arega the American Ambassador to Ethiopia said the election will be a historic opportunity for Ethiopia’s political transition and that the government has come a long way to make it better than any previous election.
In a statement, Lawrence Freeman said the senators’ letter was a “dangerous letter” that could give the parties a chance to say ‘no’ despite losing votes.