OGADEN NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT
ONLF Position regarding the postponement of the elections and continuation of the current status quo in Ethiopia
The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) expresses its grave concern regarding the process that resulted in the decision of the House of Federation to postpone the 2020 elections and extend the mandate of the government and its institutions beyond what the constitution allows.
Out of our concern for public safety, the ONLF was one of the prominent political parties that saw the necessity of taking into consideration the effects of the COVID19 Pandemic on the planned elections. However, we believe that any extension of the current governments mandate should have been done through an inclusive and consultative process resulting in a political consensus rather than a unilateral decision by the one-party dominated two-tier parliament. A political consensus whereby the views of the opposition political parties were taken into consideration and a climate of trust and fruitful collaboration was promoted would have been more likely to create an environment where the promised peaceful and comprehensive democratic transformation of Ethiopia would have been possible.
Now that the government has taken this unilateral decision despite clear warnings by opposition parties, the ONLF wishes to affirm that Ethiopia is entering a more dangerous political phase which can only be described as a sudden and profound halt in the democratisation process.
For all regions, there are security issues and transition crisis, therefore, this delay in elections is sure to further endanger peace and stability. Thus, Across Ethiopia, the ONLF is concerned that increased tensions will be catastrophic and benefit no one.
Therefore, the ONLF calls upon the government to enter into immediate and comprehensive dialogue with all opposition groups for the purposes of reaching a settlement that averts a return to habitual conflicts in Ethiopia. The COVID 19 Pandemic need not halt Ethiopia’s democratic transformation and it need not reverse the political gains achieved thus far at a time when unity of purpose in confronting this Pandemic is desperately needed. The unilateral nature of making this decision actually undermines the political and social stability needed to join hands in the face of this Pandemic which is a threat to us all.
ONLF Press Release
For immediate release
11 June, 2020
Jigjiga, The Somali State