The Ethiopian Electoral and Political Parties /DRAFT/ Proclamation

Part Four
General Political Parties
CHAPTER ONE FORMATION OF POLITICAL PARTY
63. Political Party Formation
1.Every Ethiopian has the right to form a political party or be a member of a political party.
2.Any Ethiopian aged 18 or above has the right to be a member of a national or regional party in accordance with this Proclamation.
3.Notwithstanding sub-articles (1) and (2) above, the following persons shall not engage in partisan activities as members of a political party:
a. Judges
b. Members of the armed forces
c. Employees of the police force, intelligence units and security forces; and
d. Employees and management of the Board.
4.If the persons listed in sub-article (3) intend to be members of a political party, they shall resign from office or government service.
5.A person who violates sub-article (3) of this Article shall be deemed to have willingly resigned from service.
6.A person who has been deprived of his right to vote and be elected by a judicial decision shall not become a member of a political party for the duration of his ban.
64. Formation of a Nation – Wide Political Party
1.A political party shall be formed as a nation- wide political party where: a. it has at least 10,000 founding members:
b. not more than 40% of its founding members are residents of a single state ;
c. the remaining founding members are permanent residents of at least four other states
of Ethiopia;
d. the founding members shall be registered as founding members in accordance with sub-article 1(c) above, if for each of the four states there are 15% of the remaining members who are permanent residents.
2.The founding members specified under sub article (1) of this Article: must be at least 18 years old; not deprived of the right to vote by law or a court’s decision based on the applicable law; their consent to be members of the political party expressed by their signature affixed next to their full name; and must have submitted to the party evidence of their residence in the place of their registration.
3.The document signed by the founding members in accordance with sub article (2) above, shall specify the member’s full name, sex, age, place of residence (specific name of place, kebele or woreda), type of proof of residence, number of proof of residence if
available, signature and the date of registration as well as the name and signature of the person who took down these particulars.
4.The party or the person who presents the party’s document to have the party registered shall attach a statement of oath confirming that the particulars of the founding members are correct. The Board may, in collaboration with the body mandated to grant proof of residence in the founding members’ place of residence, investigate suspicious circumstances.
5.Without prejudice to the sanctions to be imposed in accordance with the relevant criminal law, where a fraudulent registration of a person as a member using fictitious name and signature or fraudulent impersonation or other presentation of fraudulent information by a party has been established following complaint by any person or investigation by the Board:
a. if such party is in the process of being registered, its application for registration shall be rejected and it shall be barred from registering as a political party for the next three years. A leader or member of the party’s management or any other person who have been implicated in the fraud will be barred from membership or leadership of a party for the next three years.
b. if such a party has been registered, the registration shall be cancelled and it shall be barred from registering as a political party for the next three years. A leader or member of the party’s management or any other person who have been implicated in the fraud will be barred from membership or leadership of a party for the next three years.
6.The recruitment of founding members in accordance with sub-article 1 of this Article shall reflect gender considerations and the contribution of members of the local community.
65. Formation of a Regional Political Party
1.A political party shall be formed as a regional political party where: a. it has 4000 founding members;
b. more than sixty percent (60%) of the founding members are permanent residents of the same regional state.
2.The founding members provided under sub – article 1 of this Article: must be at least 18 years old; not deprived of the right to vote by law or a court’s decision based on the applicable law; must have expressed their consent to be members of the political party; and must have submitted to the party proof of their residence in the place of their registration.
3. The document signed by the founding members in accordance with the sub article (2) above shall specify the member’s full name, sex, age, place of residence (specific name of place, kebele or woreda), type of proof of residence, number of proof of residence if
available, signature and the date of registration as well as the name and signature of the person who took down these particulars.
4.The verification of the information about the founding members that the party presents in line with sub articles (2) and (3) above and the sanctions to be imposed if fraud is established, shall be in accordance with Article 64 (4) and (5).
5.The recruitment of founding members in accordance with sub-article 1 of this Article shall reflect gender considerations and the contribution of members of the local community.
6.The Board shall verify that a registered nation-wide political party has the requisite minimum number of members specified under sub-article (1) above, based on a members’ list that the party will present every two years.
7.The document signed by the founding members in accordance with the sub–article (2) above shall be a document open to public.
8.Where a request for registration for an election to be conducted at any level has been presented in any election year, 90 days before the start of voters’ registration, it should be finalized prior to the start of candidates’ registration and the announcement of the timetable for the election.
9.The Board shall issue a directive to determine the particulars required to implement Article 64 and this Article.
CHAPTER TWO REGISTRATION OF POLITICAL PART
66. Registration
1.Any political party can operate as a political party in Ethiopia only upon registration by the Board and receipt of a certificate of legal personality in accordance with this Proclamation.
2.A political party that has obtained legal personality in accordance with sub-article (1) of this Article may enter into a contract with third parties; sue and be sued; own property or enter a lease; exchange, sell or transfer assets in any other way or execute any other act that is in line with its purpose.
3.Without prejudice to sub-article (1) above, citizens intending to establish a political party may apply to the Board to be granted a certificate of provisional registration.
4.The application in accordance with sub-article (2) above should be presented with: a written request for registration; minutes of a meeting with 200 signatures for a nationwide party or 100 signatures for a regional party; the provisional name of the party; a confirmation to abide by the election law and other relevant laws; and receipt showing the service fee of the Board.
5.The Board shall, upon verifying that the documents specified under sub-article (3) above have been received, issue a certificate of provisional registration. The certificate of provisional registration is valid for three months only. However, the validity of the certificate of provisional registration may be extended for additional three months upon the presentation of a satisfactory reason by the applicants.
6.A political party that has obtained a certificate of provisional registration can use the certificate only for the purpose of conducting activities required by this Proclamation towards the registration of the party.
67. Application of Registration
1.Application for registration of a political party shall be signed by the party leader and submitted to the Board.
2.The application submitted in accordance with sub-article (1) of this Article shall be accompanied by the following documents:
a. the memorandum of association of the party done in accordance with Article 72 of
this Proclamation;
b.the political program of the party done in accordance with Article 73 of this Proclamation;
c.the by – laws of the party prepared in accordance with Article 15 of this
Proclamation;
d.the names and addresses of the party leaders, and a document showing their consent to be leaders and endorsed by their signature;
e.the document signed by founding members which will be made publicly available,
f.the document showing the political party leaders are elected in accordance with the
rules of the party and in a free and democratic process.
3.Each documents provided under the preceding sub article (2) shall be accompanied by five copies and submitted together with the application for registration.
4.A party applying for registration shall pay: a. registration fee, and
b. fee for revision of basic documents when required. .
5.Receipt for payment made in accordance with sub article (4) (a) of this Article shall be submitted together with the application for registration.
6.The amount payable under sub article (4) of this Article shall be determined by the Board.
7.The documents of the political party registered in accordance with this proclamation shall be made publicly available.
68. Responsibilities of the Board
1.The Board shall examine the application for registration made based on Article 67 within 21 days; and where a political party has failed to fulfill the requirements, it shall give the party a written notice of 30 days to fulfill the requirements.
2. Where the Board’s examination of the application as per sub-article (1) shows that the requirements are fulfilled, it shall, within 15 days, make a public announcement on the
appropriate mass media and its website, enquiring of any opposition to the use of the name or symbol by the party or other related issues.
3.Any person opposing the registration in accordance with sub article (2) of this Article, shall present such opposition to the Board within 14 days from the date of the public announcement. The Board shall not issue permission for registration within this period.
4.The Board may request for supporting information and documents that are necessary for the registration process.
5.The Board shall, upon receiving the application and supporting documents in accordance with Article 67 of this Proclamation, examine and ascertain the submission of the requisite documents and their authenticity. It shall, after causing the party to submit a confirmation to abide by the Constitution, this Proclamation, other relevant laws and codes of conduct and inspecting its head office, process the formalities of registration within 45 days and issue to the applicant a certificate of legal personality.
6.The Board, using the appropriate mass media, shall notify the public of the political party registered pursuant to sub article (5) of this Article.
7.The Board shall, in accordance with Chapter 7 of this section monitor the income source, expenditure list and assets of a political party; where illegal acts are found the Board shall take the necessary measures in accordance with this Proclamation.
8.The Board shall submit periodical and yearly reports to the House of Peoples Representatives on:
a. government’s funding of political parties based on Article 80 of this Proclamation and the utilization of the fund; and
b. the overall activity of political parties.
9.The Board shall, upon receiving the audit report as per Article 105 of this Proclamation, publicize it; and where it deems necessary it may order inspection.
69. Political Party Barred from Registration
1. The political party shall not be registered if:
a. Its name; abbreviation of its name; emblem; or symbol is culturally and ethically
unacceptable in the country;
b.Its name; abbreviation of its name; emblem; or symbol is in use by another party or is similar to that of another party that it is likely to result in confusing voters; or
c.Its name; abbreviation of its name; emblem; symbol; founding document or rules aim to foment conflict and violence by spreading hatred and enmity among nations, nationalities and peoples on grounds such as ethnicity and religion; or exclude people from being members or supporters on the basis of ethnicity, religion or identity;
d. aims to fulfill its purpose through armed struggle;
e.it has members with international nationality;
f. formed for the purpose of pursuing unlawful activities.
2. A party that objects the decision of the Board made in accordance with sub-article (1) above may appeal to the Federal High Court within 30 days of receiving such decision . The party that has filed the petition shall be considered as having a legal personality, and the person elected to lead it according to its by-laws and indicated as such in the register shall be deemed to be its lawful representative.
70. Organization or Associations Bared from Registration as Political Party
The following organizations or associations may not be registered as political parties under this Proclamation:
1.associations or organizations formed for the purpose of carrying on commercial and industrial activities pursuant to the Commercial Code or the Civil Code or other relevant laws;
2.not for profit or welfare associations or organizations;
3.communal associations, trade unions and professional associations;
4.mutual help associations;
5.religious organizations;
6.social associations such as idir, equb, and the like.

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