Ethiopia: 53 Political Parties have lost their licences in 2020

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) have been pre-occupied with preparing for elections for a long time now. As the House of Federation have postponed the General Elections, which is slated now for 2021. Because of that the NEBE have twice run through the procedures and gathering information, documents and signatures of the parties. To check if they are viable or are working accordingly to the law.

With this in mind ahead of the elections. The NEBE have two times year revoked parties licenses. First in May 2020 and now in December 2020. They are clearly doing it with a iron-fist. As they are really targeting plenty of parties here. The NEBE had a base of requirements and all of these parties didn’t cut it.

It is a massive load of parties. Today alone 26 parties lost their licences to operate and in May 2020 it was 27 more. That is an total of 53 parties that has lost their licences just this year. On this is list isn’t Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which are now a “terrorist organization” and enemies of the state. This was a political party until the conflict in November 2020. However, that party was neither listed nor in the discussion of NEBE at this point.

Here are the two lists.

26 cancelled parties of 22nd December 2020:

The Existence of Amhara for Ethiopian Unity

Oromo Unity and Democracy Federal Peace Change Party

Oromo Abo Liberation Front

Oromo Independence Unity Front

United Oromo Liberation Front

Oromo Liberation Democratic Front

Oromia Liberation Democratic Party

Ethiopian Democratic Party

Dube and Degeni National Democratic Party

Agwo Democratic Party

Oromo Democratic Union

All Ethiopian National Movement

Oromo National Congress

Oromia Independence National Party

Union for Democracy and Freedom

Somali Patriotic Party

Afar Revolutionary Party

Somali Regional Democratic Union

Consultation for Unity and Democracy Party

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP)

Ethiopian Peace and Democratic Party (EPDP)

Unity for Democracy and Justice Party:

Ethiopian People’s National Movement

Nezberake Amhara Organization

Unity of the People of Finfine for Justice and Democracy

Harari Revival Movement

There was a list from 15th May 2020 too with another list of parties that was revoked their licenses. Therefore this is second big drive of cutting away parties and taking away their licenses to operate. The previous list of parties was these:

Full list of parties whose licenses have been revoked:

1. Ethiopian Democratic Unity Movement

2. Geda System Advancement Party

3. Yem Nation Democratic Movement

4. Denta Dubamo Kechinchila People Democratic Organization

5. Ethiopian National Unity Congress

6. Tigre Worji Nationality Democratic Organization

7. All Amhara People’s Organization

8. Ethiopian Unity Democratic Organization

9. All Amhara People’s party

10. Ethiopians National Movement

11. Southern Ethiopia Democratic Congress

12. Sheko and Regional People Democratic Organization

13. Freedom and Peace for Ethiopia Unity Party

14. Ethiopian Visionary Party

15. All Ethiopian Democratic Party

16. Kambata People’s Congress

17. Hadiya Nation Democratic Organization

18. Omo People’s Democratic Union

19. Dil Webi People’s Democratic Movement

20. Bench people’s Democratic Organization

21. Silte People’s Democratic Party

22. Afar People’s Liberation Party

23. Somali Unity Party

24. Freedom for Unity and for Justice Party

25. South-West Ethiopia People Union

26. National Renaissance for Peace and Development

27. Gambella Regional Movement” (FANABC – ‘NEBE cancels licenses of 27 political parties’ 15.05.2020).

We are clearly seeing direct act of the government towards these parties. They are really taking out as many as possible. So there is less choices. Some of these parties was most like partly defunct and some was “brief-case parties” but others we cannot know. However, the reactions to the revoked licenses should say something.

If there is no reaction or no dismay over the deregistering of them. Then they didn’t have a purpose or a platform to begin with. They were only an entity on paper for someone who had an idea, but never made it happen. NEBE is issued to this and check their registries, but doing it at this big of scale. Speaks volumes of their actions and we can wonder what they really want to achieve.

That is for another day. Peace.

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