Minister Redwan Hussein, head of Government Communications Affairs Office, gave a press conference to the media on the 14th of May, 2015.
The press conference mainly focused on the government’s assessment of the campaigning phase of the election, the readiness of security forces to preserve peace and the forthcoming 24th anniversary of Ginbot 20 celebrations marking the fall of the Dergue regime.
Here are Take aways from the Press conference:
“Progress in collaboration between parties”
Parties are collaborating better in solving problems that occurred in the campaigning phase unlike the non-stop claims and false charges used to be seen in previous elections, Redwan claimed.
There is a significant progress on the quality of televised debates as there is an increase in parties focusing on policy issues than their old custom of throwing false charges and labels, he said. The minister also added that this focus on issues has improved the quality and importance of the debates in the election process.
The participation level of the public in the voter registration and campaigning phases of the election was higher than ever, according to Redwan. It’s even better than the participation levels of developed democracies, he emphasized. This fact, Redwan stressed, shows public confidence in the electoral process since citizens won’t register to vote in an election that they have no confidence in.
“There is no earthly reason for violence”
According to Redwan, the public has seen the fair opportunity parties got to campaign and no party quit campaigning complaining of being denied of access and opportunity. Hence, there is no fertile ground among the public for violence. Therefore, Redwan said, there is no earthly reason for anyone to resort to violence.
However, Redwan added, as always there will be groups and individuals who would try to use elections as an opportunity to create chaos that furthers their interests. Hence, the police and security forces are made ready to scuttle such attempts if these groups manage in creating incidents in certain places, the minister ascertained. The police are now more equipped than ever in modern riot dispersal gears and trainings in riot handling. Hence, the public have nothing to fear and should continue its active participation in the process, Redwan reassured.
“Ginbot 20 should be celebrated on the shared success the nation achieved”
The motto of this year’s Ginbot 20 celebration will be one that expresses Ethiopia’s transformation from “a nation expected to disintegrate to one that is mentioned as a success story and positive example”, Minister Redwan said. Even though we can disagree on the state of the nation and the 24 year journey we had, Redwan said, the one achievement we all could agree is that Ginbot 20 has enabled us to freely express our ideas and discuss our differences without fear. And we should celebrate the day focusing on what we have achieved and discussing our shortcomings, he stressed.