The Ethiopian Electoral and Political Parties /DRAFT/ Proclamation

Part Three
Elections Administration Registration of Voters
18. Conditions for registration
1.Any person who:
a. is an Ethiopian;
b. is 18 years old and above at the time of registration;
c. has been residing within the constituency for at least 6 months may be registered as a voter.
2.The conditions listed under sub-article 1 above, shall be verified through the means listed under Article 21 of this Proclamation. .
3. Without prejudice to the provision of sub article (1) above, the following shall not be eligible for registration:
a. a person who is proved to be incapable of making decision due to mental disorder as confirmed by the relevant authority or sufficient evidence.
b. a person whose electoral rights abridged by the decision of a court of law based on the applicable law;
19. Registration Timetable
1.Registration for general elections shall begin and end across the nation at dates to be fixed by the Board. The Board shall consult political parties before deciding on the dates for registration.
2. The Board shall indicate the starting date of registration in its election timetable and continually announce the date through mass media and advertisements 15 days before the start of the registration.
3. The Board may, under special circumstances, decide a special registration date.
4. Any person who fulfills the voter registration requirements under this proclamation but was unable to register because of force majeure may register in accordance with the directive to be issued by the Board.
5.The Board shall issue registration timetable for local elections on the basis of the regional constitution and other relevant laws. It shall consult with political parties on the timetabling.
20. Place of Registration
1.Registration shall be conducted only at the polling stations to be established in each Kebele to which voters shall and register. Therefore, it is prohibited to do registrations outside the polling station, by going door to door or on the roads.
2.Without prejudice to sub-article (1) herein above, the Board may find it necessary to authorize voter registration in pastoralist areas to be conducted in mobile registration stations set up for the purpose or by going door-to-door.
3.Each polling station shall have its own register of voters.
21. The Registration Process
1.The voter shall be registered in a polling station where he resides by producing an identification card or passport.
2.The identification card or passport may, irrespective of its validity, serve for the purpose of registration.
3.In the absence of an I.D. card, evidence of identity such as a driving license residence permit, a military discharge document, student ID card bearing a recent photograph of the voter, shall be deemed to be sufficient document for registration purposes.
4.In the absence of the aforementioned documents, registration may be carried out upon recognition of the voter’s identity by the electoral officials or through traditional or customary means in the case of rural areas and after a record has been entered to that effect.
5.Registration may be carried out where it is possible to recognize the voter based on the testimony of public observers, which shall be recorded in minutes.
6.Without prejudice to Article 20 sub-article (2), the disabled and the blind who are eligible shall be registered in person accompanied by their assistants.
7.The name of a person who is eligible to elect shall be entered into the electoral register.
8.Any person duly registered shall be issued with a voter’s card bearing his full name including grandfather’s, the Regional State where he resides, zone, Woreda, Kebele, designated polling station, house number, village or locality, registration number, serial
number, electoral register page, voter’s signature, registrar’s signature and date of registration.
9. Registration of voters can be conducted where a minimum of three of the election officers are present.
22. Particulars of the Electoral Register
The electoral register shall have columns for entering the following particulars:
1.serial number of registration
2.date of registration
3.full name, including grand father’s
4.Date and year of birth
5.Age
6.Gender
7.Disability: Yes/No; required support: Human/wheelchair
8.duration of the residence within constituency
9.signature or finger print at the time of registration
10.signature or finger print during voting
11.House number /village or locality/specific name of the area
12.A column to enter remarks
13.For special polling stations, besides the foregoing, columns to enter the special conditions of the voters.
23. Distribution and Transfer of Documents
1.The Board shall ensure the delivery of necessary registration documents to polling stations in time, in accordance with the election timetable;
2.The Board shall issue a directive determining the time and procedure for the handover of electoral registers and documents used in registration including minutes.
24. Registration should be only once and at one place
1.No voter shall be registered more than once in a polling station or in more than one polling station.
2.A voter shall have only one voter’s card.
3.Any voter whose voter’s card is lost or damaged may inform the matter to the polling station during working hours before or on voting day. Where the polling station is convinced of the matter and, up on making a record of the same, may give the voter a replacement or after verifying the identity of the voter against the voters register and be allowed to vote
25. Closure of the Electoral Roll
1.Upon conclusion of each day’s registration, the last voter’s serial number and date shall be filled in the form prepared for this purpose and signed by electoral officials.
2.Registration shall continue until the conclusion of the voters’ registration following the procedures provided in sub article (1) above. On the final day of the registration the officials and observers mentioned here in above shall sign in the open space provided immediately after the last registered voter.
3.Unless otherwise determined by the Board, no voter shall be registered or nothing shall be entered or written on the electoral register subsequent to its closure.
26. Opening the Electoral Register to the Public
1.Upon conclusion of voters’ registration, the electoral register shall be officially opened for the public within the premises of the polling station for fifteen consecutive days.
2.Representative of the political parties or the independent candidates running in the polling station may review the electoral register upon filing a request to the chief officer of a polling station.
3.At the end of the elections, the electoral register shall be deposited in the Board’s regional office secretariat or a lower echelon elections office close to the polling station.
4.The Board may give a copy of the electoral register to the candidates once registration is concluded and related pleadings decided, Particulars shall be determined by a directive to be issued by the Board.
27. Complaints on Registration
1.Any person or political organization with any reservations on registration may lodge their complaint along with the evidence with the Polling Station Grievance Hearing Committee.
2.The Polling Station Grievance Hearing Committee shall look into the complaint lodged in accordance with Sub Article (1) herein above, and after hearing the response from the person against whom the complaint was lodged, give its written decision within five days.
28. Cancellation of Registration
1.No person shall be removed from the electoral register because of a complaint lodged against him, except when a person’s insanity is verified by an authorized body or by sufficient evidence, or unless he was registered fraudulently or more than once or was; or unless his voting right was curtailed by judicial decision.
2.In the event of one of the reasons listed our under sub-article 1 herein above, courts, hospitals, Idirs or other members of the community knowledgeable of the matter are obligated to immediately report the matter to the Board’s regional branch office, the constituency or the polling station
3.The Board’s regional branch office, the constituency or polling station shall, upon getting information in accordance with sub article (2) herein above, remove the name of the person from the register
29. Permanent Electoral Register
1.The Board may set the procedures for the preparation of the electoral register for every electoral district, and the regular updating and revision of the same.
2.The electoral register shall be prepared and regularly revised by the Board’s regional branch office and lower echelon offices under the leadership of an expert appointed by the Board and in consultation with regional states and in collaboration with the Central Statistic Authority and other relevant institutions.
3.Particulars of the preparation, keeping and revisions of the electoral register shall be determined by a directive to be issued by the Board.
Chapter Two Registration of Candidates
30. Location of Candidates’ Registration
Registration of candidates shall be carried out in constituencies at least 90 days prior to the election day and in accordance with the timetable for candidates’ registration to be issued by the Board.
31. Criteria for Candidature
1.Any person shall be eligible for candidature, where he: a. is an Ethiopian and registered to vote;
b.is aged 21 years or above on the date of registration;
c. has resided in the constituency of his intended candidature continuously for one
year before the date set for elections, or was born in the constituency of his intended candidature, or where the city or woreda has more than one constituency, has worked in the city or words continuously for two years, may run in the city or the constituency chosen by the wereda;
d. Whose electoral rights are not revoked by law or by the court;
e. Who is not declared by an authorized body incapable of making effective
decisions due to insanity;
f. has accepted and signed the election code of conduct to be issued by the Board in accordance with this proclamation May become a candidate.
2.The criteria provided under sub-article 1(d) herein above shall not apply to a person: a. who has been outside of the constituency on a duty or study leave;
b. who is already in office, having been previously elected in the constituency.
3.In addition to the criteria herein above, an independent candidate shall produce endorsement signatures of not less than 5000 residents of the constituency with verified age of 18 years or above whose voting rights are not revoked by law or court decision.
4.The authenticity of the endorsement signatures submitted by independent candidates shall be verified by a process similar to that of the signatures of founding members, which political parties applying for registration submit according to Article 64 and 65 of this Proclamation.
5.Besides the criminal punishment the Board may impose on an independent candidate, who on anyone’s report or the investigation of the Board itself, was found guilty of submitting fraudulent signatures from persons who did not express their support, preparing false names and signatures, using fictitious name and signature, or doing any other act of fraud, his application for candidature shall be rejected or his registration revoked and shall be barred for three years from becoming an independent candidate and a member of a political party leadership.
32. Nomination of Candidates
1.Any legally registered political party may compete in elections conducted in accordance with this proclamation by nominating candidates who fulfill the criteria.
2.Without prejudice to sub-article (1) of this provision, candidates competing for a seat in the House of Representative shall bring 3000 endorsement signatures and those competing for regional council shall bring 1000 signatures of endorsement from their intended constituencies.
3. The leader of the political party, front or coalition or his representative shall present to the Board the list of the candidates nominated to compete in the name of the political party.
4.A document certifying the candidacy and consent of a candidate nominated by a political organization shall be presented together with the certificate of candidature.
5.A front or coalition of political parties competing in a constituency may nominate only one candidate for one seat of a council
6.Any candidate shall register in person. Where the candidate is unable to register in person, the political party nominating him may have him registered provided that it presented documentary evidences and, where necessary, witnesses to ascertain that candidate’s meeting of the criteria for candidature.
7.Registration of candidates shall be conducted in the presence of at least two of the election executives in the constituency.
33. Rights of Government Employees Who Run for Elections
1.Any government employee:
a. may run for election as an independent candidate or a member of a political organization;
b.Running for elections should temporarily resign from his job starting from his registration as a candidate until the completion of the election.
c.In the event of temporary resignation of a candidate from his job according to sub-article “b” herein above, he shall not get any salary or benefits, nor is he allowed to use any property of the government office in which he is employed, until the end of the elections.
d.Without prejudice to the foregoing, a government employee who run as a candidate and did not win has the right to return to his job without any preconditions and to get promotion and benefits on the basis of his performance.
2.Without prejudice to the provision in sub-article (1) herein above, judges, soldiers, members of the police and other law enforcement forces, security agency workers and employees of the Board shall resign from their positions in the event of their nomination as independent or political party candidates
3. Judges, soldiers, members of the police and other law enforcement forces, security agency workers and employees of the Board may not participate during the election period in a political campaign through speeches, writings and the like in support of any candidate.
4. A member of the armed force or police force may not participate in uniform in party meetings or in election activities.
34. Endorsement of Independent Candidates
The number of times a voter signs in support of political candidates shall not be more than double the number of seats available for the electoral district where he resides.
35. Issuance of Candidature Certificate
1. A candidate screened in accordance with Article 32 herein above shall be entered into the candidates’ registration form and issued with a candidature certificate.
2. Candidature certificates of political party candidates may be given to the candidates themselves or to the nominating political party.
36. Announcement of Candidates
Once the candidates are identified in accordance with this proclamation the Election office of the constituency shall, as of the end of candidates registration, publicize the list of candidates to the public.
37. Candidature Symbols
1.Any candidate may submit a running symbol or choose one from those prepared by the Board.
2.Candidates of a political organization may use the same symbol in all levels of election.
3.Candidates of a political party shall use the same symbol in all constituencies astray compete for seats in each of the councils.
4.A political party or independent candidate shall be given priority to choose the symbol they used during the previous election.
5.The Management Board shall decide disputes over election symbols brought to it.
6.Any election symbol shall:
a) Not be similar to that of other candidates;
b) Not be in anyway related to anything that may trigger tribal, racial or religious hatred and conflict;
c) Not convey a message of war or any unlawful act;
d) Not have resemblance to the flags or emblems of Federal and State Governments, emblems of political organizations or flags or emblems of international organizations or signs of religious organizations;
e) Not violate public morals and ethics.
7.The Board shall in a directive determine the layout of the images and symbols to be printed on the ballots, their sequencing and related matters in a manner that is clear to political parties and independent candidates.
38. Change and Replacement of Candidature Symbols
1.The Board may, in accordance with Article 37 herein above, order a political party or an independent candidate to change their candidature symbol.
2.In the event Board decides for a change of a candidature symbol, it shall within 15 days after the closing of candidates registration communicate its decision to the political party or the independent candidate and have them submit or choose a replacement symbol.
3.In the event a political party or an independent candidate wishes to change a symbol chosen earlier, they shall notify the change to the Board in writing within 10 days after the closing of candidates’ registration.
39. Withdrawals and Replacement of Candidates
1.A candidate of a political party or an independent candidate may withdraw from an election.
2.A political party candidate who has withdrawn from the election in accordance with sub-article (1) herein above shall notify his decision in writing to the political party that nominated him.
3.A political party may change or replace a candidate only within a week from the date when the candidate drops out of the race or, where the candidate drops out of the race after the end of candidates’ registration only during the month prior to to polling day.
40. Death of a Candidate
1.Where a candidate of a political party dies after the end of the candidates’ registration time, the political organization may replace the candidate within a period of one month before the voting date.
2.Where a political organization running for election has not submitted a replacement in accordance with sub-article (I) herein above, the election shall continue with the remaining candidates in accordance with the timetable.
3.Without prejudice to the provision in sub article (1) above, where a political organization informs the Board in writing that it cannot replace the deceased candidate, the election shall continue with the remaining candidates in accordance with the timetable.
41. On Running Only in a One Constituency
1. A person shall can become a candidate only in one constituency, for a single seat in the House of Representatives or a regional council;
2. A candidate may be transferred from one constituency to another during the period of candidates’ registration and register and contest there, in accordance with the law. Particulars shall be determined by the Board.
42. Immunities of Candidates
1. Except when caught red handed candidates shall not be apprehended on suspicions of committing a crime until the end of the election period.
2. Legal measures may be taken against a candidate, who committed an offense but was not caught red-handed as stated under sub-article 1 herein above, only after the electoral results are officially revealed to the public by the Board.
3. Without prejudice to the provision in sub-article (2) herein above, a winner shall be held liable for the alleged crime during the election only after his immunity is lifted by a concerned council.

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