US calls for free, fair elections in Ethiopia
“During the bilateral discussions, the US representatives urged that measures be taken to ensure that the forthcoming elections are run freely and fairly. They stressed that there must be no violence associated with these elections as there was in 2005,” said a statement issued by the US embassy in Ethiopia after the talks.
“Free, fair, credible and peaceful Ethiopian elections in May depend on inter-party dialogue, an effective and independent electoral complaints mechanism, credible administration of the conclusion of the candidate registration process, assiduous implementation of the code of conduct by political parties and Ethiopian government institutions, a permissive operating environment for independent observers, non-partisan election reporting and equitable access to the media,” the statement said.
It is also reported that Wycoff expressed the US government’s view that the Ethiopian government and ruling party must take their responsibilities seriously by creating an environment in which all parties feel confident in fully expressing their opinions and implementing their electoral strategies.
Around 30 million Ethiopians have been registered to cast their votes on the 23 May 2010 national election, due to be held for the fourth time under the current regime.
“The US delegation also emphasized the importance of the opposition conducting their political activities and campaigns in a responsible and positive manner. “It is essential for both sides to avoid any violence in the run-up to the forthcoming elections,” added the embassy statement.