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Over 4 mln candidates to contest on the coming Ethiopia’s election

By Tesfa-alem Tekle

February 17, 2008 (ADDIS ABABA) — Despite to some opposition parties raised voice over unfair and non constitutional Election procedures, 25 political parties have field over 4 million election candidates to take part in the up coming national by-election and local election to be run in April this year, the national electoral board disclosed.

Except for the Somali regional state, all other parties, 8 parties in Addis Ababa, seven in Oromia, six in the southern region, four in Amhara, in Afar and Diredawa have field their respective candidates.

Where as Tigray and Gamberlla are represented by single party candidates.

Two weeks ago 2 major opposition parties, the Oromo federalist democratic movement and the united Ethiopian democratic front have accused the ruling party of violating election procedures by abusing cards and detaining candidates, intimidating supporters, shutting down opposition offices.

However the ruling party has in no time played it down saying “a fabricated story and an attempt to hinder the election process and a deliberate move to create election violence once again.”

Mean while Ethiopian ministry of information announces that all political parties to run for the coming election will be provided with free and fair mass media access to advance their election complain.

Addressing the dissuasion, the minister, Berhe Haile said the fair distribution of media time among the competing parties would help make the election fair and free which he said, shows democratic culture has been developing in Ethiopia.

The minister said those political parties who have particular seats and who complete the up coming election will enjoy from the privilege of mass media time allocation where as those who need extra time will be charged like any other advertisement.

(ST)