Gerrymandering in Ethiopia
MIZAN LAW REVIEW, Vol. 15 (2021)
26 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2021
Date Written: September 2, 2021
The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) had rejected the request to enable ethnic-Hararis who reside outside Harari Regional State to vote in the election of members of the Harari National Council. The Board stated that it is not bound by prior practices that do not have constitutional foundation. The Board further stated that accepting such demand would jeopardize the fairness and impartiality of the Board against other minority ethnic groups whose members reside outside of their national state. The NEBE argued that article 50(2) of the Harari Constitution contradicts the provision of article 50(3) of the FDRE Constitution. However, based on the Harari National Council’s petition to the Federal Supreme Court, the decision of the NEBE has been reversed, and this has been further affirmed by the FSC Cassation Division. This comment examines the legal foundation and propriety of the decisions of the Federal Supreme Court and the FSC Cassation Division. Inter alia, the FSC Cassation Division has misinterpreted a provision under article 50(2) of the Harari National State Constitution that expressly refers to the right to be candidate in elections at place of birth as opposed to voting rights irrespective of residence.
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