Election! Recycling Evil In The Name of Democracy

By Geresie Bonkie

We can think of democracy as a system of government with the following key elements:

  1. A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections;

  2. The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life;

  3. Protection of the human rights of all citizens;

  4. Transparency and accountability to the public;

  5. A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.

In a democracy, the people are sovereign-they are the highest form of political authority. Power flows from the people to the leaders of government, who hold power only temporarily. Laws and policies require majority support in parliament, but the rights of the minorities are protected in various ways. The people are free to criticize their elected leaders and representatives and to observe how they conduct the business of government. Elected representatives at the national and local levels should listen to the people and respond to their needs and suggestions. For elections to be free and fair, they have to be administered by a neutral, fair, and professional body that treats all political parties and candidates equally. All parties and candidates must have the right to campaign freely, to present their proposals to the voters, both directly and through the mass media. Voters must be able to vote in secret, free of intimidation and violence and etc. But none of the above-mentioned are exercised in Ethiopia, instead under the disguise of democracy and fake election, high crimes have been committed for the last three decades.

In the latest May 2005 national election, 25 million of Ethiopia’s illegible voters stood in line for long hours to cast their votes. Mr. Zenawi’s regime was overwhelmingly defeated by the opposition. However, Mr. Zenawi had difficulty in accepting that the opposition had won the national election and declared himself a winner, ordered his security to shoot and kill more than 193 innocent citizens, embarked on a massive and sustained crackdown of all dissents in the country. Thousands of innocent citizens, mostly young, were held in 5 specially arranged Nazi-type concentration Camps.

In this regard, if we quote from the recent U.S. Department of State country report of 2007, which is almost identical to the predecessor’s years, on human rights practices, it is reported as follows. “Human rights abuses reported during the year included: limitation of citizens’ rights to change their government during the most recent elections; unlawful killings, and beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees and opposition supporters by security forces: poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention, particularly of those suspected of sympathizing with or being members of the opposition or insurgent groups; detention of thousands without charge and lengthy pretrial detention; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights and frequent refusal to follow the law regarding search warrants; use of excessive force by security services in an internal conflict and counter-insurgency operations; restrictions on freedom of the press; arrest, detention, and harassment of journalists for publishing articles critical of the government; restrictions on freedom of assembly; limitations on freedom of association ……….”

Here we go again, Election! recycling evil in the name of democracy in Ethiopia. Prescribing fake election to cover up the high crimes being committed and clinging to power, not through the will of the people, but through the barrel of the gun. In Ethiopia, gun culture is ruling over reason and logic.

The current regime in Addis Ababa has routinely engaged and continues to engage in tortures, beatings, systematic abuse, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of dissidents and opponents in violation of their own Constitution. The regime of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has severely curtailed the right of freedom of associations and the right of the people to engage in unrestricted peaceful political and civic activity. The regime continues to violate the people’s right to assemble freely by disrupting or unlawfully banning opposition party meetings, arbitrarily denying or delaying or engaging in last minute revocation of public meetings or demonstration permits, and by using pressure tactics on ordinary Ethiopians, including requiring opposition members to renounce their party membership, even systematically harassing and intimidating opposition parliament members and their constituents not to hold meetings to address any issue. The regime continues to harass, persecute publishers, editors and journalists and controls all broadcast media. The regime relies on politically appointed judges to obtain predetermined outcomes, which often result in a miscarriage of justice.

If all the crimes committed by Meles Zenawi regime for the last three decades are investigated by international independent investigators, we are sure that the world would be shocked and it will be one of the records at the top in the 21st century. As we speak, the regime in Addis Ababa is busy hiding its crimes on humanity. It should be painful to mention that all the above said crimes and human rights abuses were happening under the watchful eye of United Nations and western countries, who claim that they stand for human rights and democracy, turning their blind eye and deaf ear to all the atrocities committed against Ethiopians.

We Ethiopians have paid for democracy and the rule of law in terms of our blood and treasure for years. Ethiopians say democracy and ask all to stand with the people of Ethiopia whose rights are denied. You can right wrongs, and say enough of blood and tears in Ethiopia to stop the ongoing crimes being committed under the cover of democracy and fake election.

Stop Recycling Evil In The Name of Democracy and Fake Election in Ethiopia!


Geresie Bonkie March 2008

This entry was posted in Articles. Bookmark the permalink.