Two weeks after the opening of the nomination process for National Electoral Board Membership position, the recruitment committee disclosed on Friday shortlisted candidates.
According to the committee, eight candidates are shortlisted of which only four will be picked for a board position. The successful ones are expected to be full-time employees unlike the practice before.
Ethiopian State Broadcaster (EBC) reported that the committee received about 200 nominations for the position via phone, fax, and electronic mail.
Dr. Meshesha Shewarega, chair of the recruiting committee, nominees screened in three phases and finally, eight candidates were shortlisted.
Consequently, the committee picked Megabi Zerihun Degu, Melaku Sebhat Bedane, Wubshet Ayele Gete, Berhane Moges Fikir, Demoze Mamo, Bizuwork Ketete, Getahun Kassa and Abera Degefu Negawo.
Somalis constitute for the third largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and inhabit the second largest land mass. You would assume with this being said that the Somalis would have played a greater role in the National Electoral Board but nope !
With national (s)elections scheduled to take place in eleven months and not a single Somali represented in the National Electoral Board it gives many in the occupied Somali territory doubts. Following the first partition of the Somali peninsula in 1954 by imperial Britain, the 8 million plus Somalis in the Ogaden have been brutalized by consecutive Abyssinian regimes. With the most brutal period being the Woyaane reign of terror.
It’s widely believed by many Somalis that prime minister Abiy Ahmed will continue the policies of his predecessors once he fully asserts his authority. Consecutive rulers in Addis Ababa have viewed the Somalis as an existential threat, henceforth the brutality and marginalization that ensued for decades.
As elections inch closer and closer many questions remain unanswered in regards to the Somalis. On the other hand, the Somali regional state (Ogaden) based in Jigjiga continues to add more fuel to the fire. The administration led by Mustafa Omar (Cagjar) is yet to take up the underlying issues plaguing the Somalis on a federal level to the National government. Such as but not limited to the census committee, the border commission and the national electoral board are just some of the burning issues which are yet to be addressed by Mustafa Omar (Cagjar).