The Ethiopian Electoral and Political Parties /DRAFT/ Proclamation

SECTION TWO
Election and Election Administrative Bodies

Chapter 1
Electoral Systems, Principles and Types
4. Electoral System
1.In the election of members of the House of People’s Representatives and state/regional councils candidates who got the biggest number shall be declared the winner. Where, in accordance with State constitutions, a constituency elects more than one candidate to regional/state councils, the candidates shall be elected in the order of the total votes they won.
2.State/regional elections laws shall not contradict relevant provisions of the FDREConstitution as well as this Proclamation.
5. Electoral Principles
1.Any election shall be conducted on the basis of universal suffrage and by direct and secret ballot through which the voters express their consent freely without discrimination with equal participation.
2.Any Ethiopian shall be eligible to elect or to be elected, unless he is deprived of his rights by law or a court decision.
3.Each vote shall carry equal weight.
4.No Ethiopian shall be compelled to elect or be elected.
6. Types of Elections
The following are the elections conducted in Ethiopia:
1.General elections
2.Local elections
3.By-election
4.Reelection
5.Referendum
7. General Elections
1.General elections are held every five years to elect members of the House of Peoples’ Representatives and of Regional State Councils.
2.General elections shall be conducted simultaneously throughout the country, unless the Board, for good reason, determined otherwise and the House of Peoples’ Representatives endorsed the decision; in which case, a constituency may hold elections at a different time.
3.Each constituency shall elect only one representative to the Federal House of Peoples’ Representatives.
4.State constitutions shall determine the number of the members of respective councils; and a constituency may be allowed to elect more than one representative to the State Council. If State Councils decide to change the number of their house members, they shall inform political parties of the decision at least six months before the next general elections.
5.Where, a State Council decides, in accordance with Article 61 (3) of the Constitution, to elect by direct popular vote its representatives to the House of Federation, it shall notify the Board of its decision six month prior to the election period; and election shall be held simultaneously with the general election.
8.Local elections
1.Local elections are held to elect representative to zonal, woreda, city municipality and sub-city or Kebele councils.
2.The number of representatives to be elected in a constituency for a local election and the time to hold such election shall be determined by laws of Regional States on the basis of the type of election and the number of seats in each council.
3.Without prejudice to sub-article 2, the House of People’s Representatives may, in accordance with Article 55, sub-article 2 (d) and Article 55, sub-article 15 of the FDRE Constitution, pass a legislation relating to local elections that sets similar standards.
4.Local elections shall be conducted based on regulations and directives issued by the Board in accordance with this Proclamation.
5.Whereas the provisions of this Proclamation on general election shall, where appropriate, apply to local elections; the Board shall issue a directive to determine establishment of constituencies and polling stations, assignment of electoral officers and observers to locations, place and process of registration of voters and candidates, the required number of endorsement signatures and other matters
9. By-election
1.By-election shall be conducted:
a. where councils at different levels request the Board to fill vacancies created for
various reasons;
b. Where a properly lodged request for the recall is accepted;
2.The Board shall hold by-election in three months from the receipt of a request.
3. Without prejudice to sub-articles (1) and (2) of this provision, no by-election shall be carried out to fill a vacancy of a council whose tenure terminates after six months or less.
10. Re-Elections
1.Re-elections may be conducted for one of the following reasons:
a. When the Board decides to cancel an election result and order a re-election on the
basis of the powers conferred on it by Article 7 (16) of Proclamation No. 1133/2011; or when an appeal was submitted to the Federal Supreme Court, as per Article // of this proclamation, against the decision of the Board and the Court confirmed the Boards decision to cancel the election result and conduct a re-election.
b. In accordance with Article 61 (3) of this proclamation, where both candidates got equal number of votes and there was no winner.
2.In the event of a re-election:
a. Without any need to conduct voters anew, the election shall be held by the same
registered voters in the constituency or the polling stations where the problem happened;
b. where it has been decided to conduct a re-election in accordance with the provision of Article I (a), only those candidates who had been registered earlier shall be eligible to contest in the re-election without having to conduct candidate registration anew;
c. campaigning shall be prohibited.
3.The Board shall in a directive determine the particulars on re-elections.
11. Referendum
1.The Board shall organize a referendum to get the popular decision on a particular political question referred to the electorate by a decision in accordance with the FDRE Constitution or other relevant laws.
2.The Board, on the instruction of the body authorizing the referendum, shall hold the referendum by organizing polling stations in a way convenient to execute the referendum.
3.The Board shall, in consultation with the constitutionally mandated body, determine polling date, the questions to be put on the ballot paper and campaigns relating to a referendum.
4.The Board shall determine the particulars in a directive.
Chapter Two Institutions of Elections Execution
12. General
In accordance with the powers conferred on it by Article 7 of Proclamation No 1133/2011, The Board, shall:
1.Establish branch secretariats at regional and sub-regional levels. Branch secretariats to be established, depending on the regional state, at zonal or electoral district level, shall provide civic and voters education; provide support to prepare permanent voters’ register, update or revise the same; support assessments to determine electoral districts; and coordinate the performance of other duties necessary for election administration.
2.Establish nationwide constituency and polling stations required to conduct elections
13. Constituencies
1. Constituencies for general elections shall be organized as follows:
a. For the purpose of holding elections, the territory of the country shall be divided
into permanent constituencies that may be re-arranged in accordance with census results by taking the Woreda as a basis and without affecting State boundaries;
b. Whereas the number of constituencies shall not be more than 550 each receiving one representative to the House of People’s Representatives, the determination shall be based on the population size of Ethiopia and the number of minority Nationalities and Peoples that are given special representation. With the exception of constituencies for minority Nationalities and Peoples, the population size of the constituencies shall be similar and the difference in size shall not be more than 15 percent.
c. There shall be constituencies, where in accordance with Article 54 of the
Constitution minority nationalities and peoples whose number is not less than 20 and are believed to require special representation, shall be represented;
d. Minority nationalities believed to require special representation shall be determined in advance by the House of Federation based on clear criteria. The Board shall determine the details of the voting procedure for these constituencies by a directive.
e. The list of constituencies shall be decided and announced to the public by the
House of Federation upon the study and report of the Board submitted to the House of Federation 180 days before the election day.
f. Political parties, independent candidates or other interested bodies shall submit their petitions or disputes concerning the demarcation of constituencies to the House of Federation within 30 days of the publication of the list of constituencies, and the House will make its decision within 30 days of receiving the same. Parties aggrieved by the decision of the House of Federation may appeal to the Federal Supreme Court within 15 days of the decision. The Court shall give judgement within 30 days.
3.Local elections at different levels shall be conducted by establishing proportional constituencies by taking into consideration the size and the number of deputies to be elected and the voters in accordance with the laws of State governments.
4.Each constituency shall, as appropriate, have a three-member Election Execution Committee that fulfills the criteria provided in Article 6 sub-article (1) of Proclamation No 1133/211…. for membership of the Management Board
5.The Board shall endeavor to ensure that each constituency has stationary representatives of local or international observers allocated to it.
6.The selection of election officials and election of observers as per sub-articles (3) and (4) of this Article shall be transparent and participatory to political parties and independent candidates in the relevant constituency, and ensure that the officers are not selected from one gender only.
7.Each constituency shall have a Grievance Hearing Committee chaired by the Chief Electoral Officer of the constituency with two of the members who are competent and of good ethics and character and, are not members of any political party. Particulars shall be determined by the guideline to be issued by the Board.
14. Powers and Duties of Constituency office
Each constituency shall have the following powers and duties:
1.in accordance with the timetable issued by the Board a) distribute election materials to polling stations
b) b) register candidates and issue 10 cards to candidates who fulfill the criteria.
2.ascertain that documents and election materials that come from polling stations are properly filled; receive and keep them safely;
3.Supervise the proper functioning of polling stations.
4.decide on grievances and complaints submitted in accordance with the law;
5.determine winners by adding up results sent by polling stations, announce the results to the public and dispatch same to the Board by filling the necessary forms;
6.dispatch the list of representatives of candidates to election officers;
7.cause two members of the Grievance Hearing Committee to be elected in accordance with a directive to be issued by the Board;
8.Coordinate the joint consultation of political parties contesting in the constituency;
9.grant quick response or decisions on complaints related to electoral procedures or results at polling station level;
10.Issue ID cards to winners of the election in accordance with a directive to be issued by the Board; and
11.perform other duties assigned to it by the Board, the Regional State Electoral Office or the constituency.
15. Establishment of Polling Stations
1.Polling stations shall be established at places that take into consideration proximity to the disabled and under conditions to be determined by the Board and officially announced to the public.
2.Without prejudice to the provision of sub article (1) above, the Board may establish mobile polling stations in consideration of the way of life in pastoral communities.
3.Polling stations shall serve as places for voters registration, casting and counting of votes.
4.The Board may, as necessary, change the location of polling stations. It shall, in accordance with sub article (1), notify the change to the public.
5.Military camps, police stations, churches, mosques, hospitals, premises where alcoholic drinks are sold, buildings occupied by political or religious organizations and residence premises shall not be made to serve as polling stations.
6.The number of voters assigned to each polling station shall not exceed 1,000.
7.There shall not be more than one polling station at a place.
8.Each polling station shall, as appropriate, have a committee comprising three electoral officers who fulfill the requirements provided in Article 6 (1) of Proclamation No. 1133/2011. The Chief Electoral Officer chairs the committee.
9.The Board shall endeavor to ensure that each polling station has stationary local or international observers.
10.The selection of election officials and election of public observers as per sub-articles (8) and (9) of this Article, shall be transparent and participatory to political parties and independent candidates in the relevant electoral districts and ensure that the officers are not representatives of one gender only.
11.Each constituency shall have a Grievance Hearing Committee chaired by head of the polling station and having two public observers as members who are competent, of good ethics and character and are not members of any political party. Particulars shall be determined by a directive to be issued by the Board.
16. Powers and Duties of Polling Stations
Each polling station shall have the following powers and duties that it discharges in accordance with regulation and timetable issued by the Board;
1.register voters;
2.keep election materials dispatched from constituencies properly;
3.conduct confidential elections in accordance with this Proclamation;
4.receive complaints submitted in accordance with the law;
5.conduct vote counting and announce results to the public by posting the results on a notice board;
6.ensure election documents and materials are filled in properly, kept safely and dispatched to the constituency;
7.cause the two members of the polling station Grievance Hearing Committee to be elected in accordance with this Proclamation and the directive to be issued by the Board;
8.take quick rectifying measures and response to grievances and petitions relating to electoral processes.
9. perform other duties assigned to it by the Board, the Regional State Electoral Office or the constituency.
17. Special Polling Stations
1.The Board may, for the purpose of enabling military and civil personnel and their family members, who live in camps far from their constituency, as well as students of higher learning institutions, internally displaced citizens; incarcerated citizens who have not been deprived of their right to vote to participate in elections, establish polling stations at or near the place where the voters are to be found. Concerning these voters, the place where they vote, the constituency where their votes are to be counted and other related issues will be determined by the directive to be issued by the Board.
2.The Board may decide for the voters mentioned in sub article (1) above to register and vote earlier than the election day and incorporate the same in the election schedule.
3.The Board may lay down special procedures for citizens resident abroad or citizens who for other reasons, cannot vote in their residence.
4.Particulars shall be determined by the directive to be issued by the Board.

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