n style=”color: #ff6600;”>Africa-Press – Ethiopia. Addis Ababa January 21/2021( ENA) Stakeholders drawn from political parties, health professionals and security actors have discussed today draft guidelines on curtailing the spread of COVID-19 during the election and procedures for law enforcement bodies in the process.
The guidelines prepared by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) were presented to collect inputs from relevant stakeholders for the enrichment of the document, it was learned.
One of the draft guidelines has been prepared with the view to reducing the transmission of COVID-19 pandemic and at the same time conduct free, fair and democratic election.
The second guideline deals with procedures the law enforcement bodies should follow to conduct peaceful and secure election.
Major concerns of some of the parties focused on the guideline prepared to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during the election, specially about the limitation of persons that can attend a gathering.
Afar People Party Chairperson Mussa Konte, for instance, argued that there is no justification for limiting the number of people that gather at one meeting to only 50 people since they use face masks, sanitizer, and keep distance.
On the other hand, other political parties supported the guideline that they believe would help protect the safety of the public and complies with international standard.
NEBE Chairwoman Birtukan Mideksa explained that the draft document was formulated without any intention to harm the freedom of movement and activities of political parties. It is rather aimed at reducing transmission of the pandemic and conducting free and fair election.
She added that the board will provide PPE for 75,000 election officers across the country. but cannot make the equipment available to others due to lack of finance.