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National Policy Dialogue Forum on “Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Democratic election in Ethiopia”

Addis Ababa University, Center for Human Rights (CHR) organized a two day national policy dialogue forum at Sarem Hotel, Addis Ababa, 21 – 22 September 2020.

The forum, organized with a theme “Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Democratic Election in Ethiopia”, aimed at promoting policy discussions among relevant stakeholders to create shared understanding and facilitate common action for the better realization of human rights.

According to the opening remarks from Fasil Mulatu (PhD), Head for CHR, the forum strives to bring together stakeholders and key institutional actors to cooperate in tackling security, rule of law and human rights violation challenges; before, during and after election periods.

Dr. Fasil noted that, as election is a fundamental democratic right to vote for the right representatives of the people, the forum helps to ensure at least the minimum international standard for election.

Dr. Getahun Kassa (PhD), a board member for the National Election Board of Ethiopia, in his key note speech stated election, a mechanism of engaging citizens to strive for public sovereignty and exercise democracy.

“Election is an important foundation for democracy, but it may be used to institutionalize dictatorship and discrimination when it is not properly implemented. To prevent this from happening, our electoral system must be competitive, legitimate and participatory,” Dr. Getahun said.

Dr. Solomon Nugussie, Dean at College of Law and Governance Studies of Addis Ababa University, on his part said, “This policy dialogue forum will not only be timely but also provide important inputs for solving Ethiopia’s long-lasting problems through making election free, fair, credible and impartial.”

Regardless of differences on understanding level and democratic appliance, the forum aspires to equality, justice and inclusiveness for the fulfillment of economic needs and the rule of law by demonstrating democratic elections, Dr. Solomon added.

A number of scholars and researchers presented their research findings on election related issues and warm discussions were held among various political parties representative at the forum.

By: Netsanet Merete

Editor: Abraham Girmay

Photo: Andualem Assefa