American Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor said that the United States is ready to work with pertinent stakes and support the upcoming 2020 national elections.
The Ambassador also noted that Ethiopia’s success in conducting the upcoming elections in a credible and safe manner will be a critical step in the reform process.
In a press release sent to The Ethiopian Herald, Raynor indicated that the elections belong to the Ethiopian people, and while the United States and others are partners in this important process, in the end, the process and the outcome can only belong to Ethiopians.
As to him, United States is working with the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia to strengthen this critical institution at all levels, from the board down to the regional levels. “Through USAID, we have shared global best practices and international perspectives on how to hold successful elections.”
As part of supporting the election 2020, the U.S. is supporting the training of nearly 300,000 Ethiopians on impartial monitoring, observing, analysis, and reporting on the electoral process.
“We will work hand in hand with civil society organizations to provide civic education that will help the people of Ethiopia to meaningfully engage with the electoral process and to ask the questions they need answered.”
With over 45,000 polling station grievance hearing committees and 547 constituency grievance hearing committees, having the right mechanisms in place is crucial.
“Of course, no credible democratic election is possible without political parties. That’s why we are dedicated to engaging with political parties from all regions, to assist with the nuts and bolts of political party organization, he reiterated.
The United States will not endorse any political candidates or political parties, he underscored. USA firmly believes that Ethiopia’s political and economic reforms offer
the surest and quickest path to securing the prosperous, stable, and politically inclusive future that Ethiopians want and deserve.
These reforms put the interests of the Ethiopian people front and center, and they have already made massive gains in broadening Ethiopia’s political and civil society space and creating economic opportunities.
As Ethiopia’s largest and deeply committed partner, the United States recognizes the importance of these elections to the Ethiopian people. And it is working with higher education institutions and media. USA is backing this commitment with approximately 30 million USD in United States Government resources to date, with more on the way, focused exclusively on supporting Ethiopia’s 2020 elections.
USA boldly holds elections, and the elections process, are the true lifeblood of any democracy.
“Just as the United States has invested in other areas critical to the Ethiopian government’s overall reform agenda including rule of law, security, conflict mitigation, economic and business climate reforms, and the health and education of the Ethiopian people we’re committed to working with the Ethiopian government and all Ethiopians of good will, as they prepare for this important milestone,” he reiterated.
The Ethiopian Herald October 9/2019