Thijs Berman, head of the European Union Election Observation Mission to Ethiopia will present the Final Report about the May 23/2010 election on Monday. However, the venue for the release of the report is Brussels, not Addis Ababa.
Reason? Ethiopia refused to host the event, according to Thijis Berman.
Thijis Berman claimed that for the first time in EU election observation history ‘the host refuses the presentation of the final report in its own capital’. Mr. Berman made the comment on his twitter account, about two hours ago(about 5:30pm GMT).
He also said tomorrow’s press conference will be his last as a EU Observers Head, though he didn’t indicate the reason.
Another tweet by Mr. Berman seems to hint that he will disclose something about two journalists.(though the sentence is not clear.)
Here is a Google translation of Thijis Berman’s three tweets in Dutch language, between 5:30 to 6:30pm GMT. (8:30pm to 9:30pm Ethiopian Time). [Note that this is a machine translation, thus some words and phrases are difficult to understand.]
Mon 2:30 p.m. persconf Ethiopian election, I may as EU chief observer no longer, so online: http://eueom.eu/ethiopia2010/home
Never happened before, in> 80 EU observation missions, the host refuses the presentation of the final report in its own capital.
About two Ethiopian journalists tomorrow, but look and ask questions via chat.Internet: antidote against persbreidel.
Here is the original tweets in Dutch language if you wish to look for a better translation.
Ma 14:30 persconf Ethiopische verkiezingen, ik mag er als EU chef waarnemer niet meer in, daarom online: http://eueom.eu/ethiopia2010/home
Nog nooit eerder gebeurd, in >80 EU waarnemingsmissies, dat het gastland de presentatie van het eindrapport weigert in eigen hoofdstad.
Ben benieuwd hoeveel Ethiopische journalisten morgen toch kijken en vragen stellen via chatbox. Internet: probaat middel tegen persbreidel.
Thijs Berman is a Dutch member of the European Parliament and Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission to Ethiopia. The mission consists of 10 Core Team members (analysts), 90 Long Term Observers and more than 60 Short Term Observers from 22 EU Member States, as well as Norway, Switzerland and Canada.
It is to be recalled that the preliminary report released 2 days after the polling day dismayed many Ethiopians due to its subjective and value-laden conclusions. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi lamented the report for its skewed conclusions, though considered its body mostly factual. Despite the disagreement concerning the preliminary report, the Premier chose not to liken him to Ana Gomez, the 2005 EU’s chief election observer to Ethiopia, now official supporter of the terrorist organization ‘Ginbot 7’.
The final report should have been released no later than July 23/2010, or August 23/2010 in exceptional circumstances, according to the EU Observers manual. There were rumors that the date of release of the final report was extended repeatedly due to differences between the observers and the government. However, it seems Mr. Berman and the Ethiopian government couldn’t reconcile their positions.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said, about two months ago, ‘we have seen a glimpse of it[the preliminary report]….thus, we are not interested in any more of it’, when asked why the final report is delayed.
It is to be seen whether Mr. Berman will stick to his code of conduct or whether he will follow Mrs Ana Gomez’s path and use tomorrow’s press conference to score points on the Ethiopian government.
It is recalled that this blog has been the first to announce the results of the Ethiopian election on May 24/2010 – only 24hrs after the closing of the polling stations.