Despite all efforts by the European Union, it was not possible to reach an agreement with Ethiopian authorities on key parameters for the deployment of an EU Electoral Observation Mission in view of the parliamentary elections on 5 June 2021. As conditions are not fulfilled, the deployment of the mission has to be cancelled.
The integrity of an electoral observation mission is a cornerstone of the EUs support for democracy. The EU regrets the refusal of the fulfilment of standard requirements for the deployment of any Electoral Observation Mission, namely the independence of the Mission and the import of mission communication systems, something that is key for the security of EU observers, in particular in the context of a challenging security environment. This situation also impacts election preparations, including voter registration.
It is disappointing that the EU has not received the assurances necessary to extend to the Ethiopian people one of its most visible signs of support for their quest for democracy. The EU encourages the Ethiopian authorities to increase efforts to guarantee all Ethiopians can exercise their legitimate political and civil rights.
The EU recalls that to further this goal and to ensure credible, inclusive and transparent elections, the EU has supported the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) in the preparation of these elections with more than €20 million.