Support for Ethiopian Democracy sign now

To U.S Government:

Ethiopia after a history of absolute monarchy, military dictatorship held its first true democratic election on May of 2005. The current ruling party exhibited a firm commitment to democratization by accommodating the interests of the citizens of Ethiopia. A number of legal and administrative measures were taken to facilitate a conducive environment for the smooth running of the election, including: the abolition of the need for signatures of supporters for candidates of registered parties; access to state owned media for all parties, 7 month long open debates transmitted live on TV and radio, greater political participation and larger rallies than ever in the country; a large number of international observers such as Former US President Jimmy Carter, former Botswana President Sir Ketumile Joni Masire and former Prime Minister of Tanzania Judge Joseph Warioba; etc. As a result, the turnout was extra ordinary as widely witnessed by the international observers and the media where 26 million people registered and 90\% of them voted.

However, due to the unconstitutional and predetermined stances taken by some opposition coalitions, whose vocal minority are comprised of the ex Dergue dictatorial regimes high military officials and top party leaders who firmly aspire and fight to restore the defunct rule of the past the post electoral process happened to be challenging and bore some unwanted consequences. The crux of the problem is that some opposition elements have not been ready to make use of the rules of the game and follow the legally provided mechanisms to obtain a remedy for their allegations of rigged election results. These opposition groups have tried to take the laws into their hands and change the results of the election through street violence in conformity with their predetermined and publicly declared strategy, which resulted in the regrettable incidents on June 8 and beginning of November 2005.

We the undersigned call on the United States Congress to support the attached resolution expressing opposition to the violence being incited by the CUD and express its support for the democratic process which has begun to take root in Ethiopia.


November 15, 2005

DRAFT RESOLUTION


Resolution expressing the United States Congress grave concern about the oppositions incitement of violence in Ethiopia creating instability in the country and the region.

Whereas Ethiopia held its first true democratic election in its history:

For the first time in history the majority of Ethiopian voters were presented with choices when they went to the polls. We believe that Ethiopia has made tremendous strides toward democracy in the last several months, including more open debate, greater political participation, large rallies, and enormously high voter turnout on Election Day.

Whereas The opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) used ethnical slurs as a political tactics, by providing untrue information to the people as observed by Carter Center, former Botswana President Sir Ketumile Joni Masire, and former Prime Minister of Tanzania Judge Joseph Warioba:

While the campaign started out at a high level, focusing on issues rather than personalities, it degenerated in the final week into charges and countercharges of engaging in "hate speech." The EPRDF's likening the opposition to Rwanda's interhamwe is as, or more, regrettable as are some opposition slurs against the Tigrayans in the ruling party.

Whereas The Current regime Ethiopia People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), clearly won the majority of the seats in the Parliament;

Whereas The opposition (CUD) concerns of elections fraud was properly investigated by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), and in certain areas elections were held again;

Whereas The opposition (CUD) refused to take their seats in the Parliament as it was indorsed by many U.S and United Kingdom officials:

Citing the U.S governments statement of September 16, 2005, Ambassador Huddleston said that the elections stand out as a milestone in creating a new, more competitive multi-party political system in one of Africas largest and most important countries.

We call on all newly elected members of parliament to take their seats, and serve under Ethiopias constitution, Charged Affaires said.

I believe that the Ethiopian people have spoken, She said, and added the only way that democracy and the will of the people will prevail is if all elected representatives respect the constitutional process and do their best to represent their constituents in the new multi-party parliament.

Whereas several members of United States Congress have urged the opposition to join the parliament:

A letter addressed to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the leaders of CUD and UEDF stated that, The opposition parties had far more opportunity to make their case and the turnout was truly impressive.

Whereas the opposition (CUD) instigated violence to take power by force, undermining the constitution, the stability of the country and the region. Causing the death of 40 people;

Whereas the State Department after following closely the whole situation made statements on November 2, 2005:

We call on the opposition to refrain from inciting civil disobedience during this time of heightened tension. While the ability to protest peacefully is a legitimate right in a democracy, violent demonstrations pose a substantial threat to public safety and do nothing to advance democracy. The United States believes that the way best forward for Ethiopia is through full participation of all political groups in the democratic process, including for elected members of the opposition to take their seats in Parliament and to assume the administration of the city of Addis Ababa.
May it now therefore be
Resolved that the House of Representatives---
1. recommends the opposition (CUD) to stop inciting violence, and join the parliament to further the democracy created in Ethiopia.

2. encourages the Government of the United States and all its agencies to take serious steps to persuade the opposition (CUD) to stop ethnical slurs and abide to the Constitution.






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Willie PetersonBy:
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