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By Godfrey Olukya   23-1-2013

29 political opposition parties have announced they will boycott the Local elections in Ethiopia scheduled to take place in April this year.

‘We have resolved not to take part in the local elections because we have failed to reach an agreement over disputes with the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE). said Asaf Farah, a member of one of the opposition parties.

The opposition condemn the electoral board  of not being transparent. They have also complained about the time frame of the polls and other electoral processes. They also accuse it of being biased saying it  is in armpits of the ruling party.

They have called for open political dialogue on these issues prior to committing to run so as to ensure a fair and democratic election.

But boycott threats by the opposition has not stopped people from registering to participate in the elections. Millions of voters have reportedly registered in Ethiopia to take part in upcoming local elections

Sources at the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia indicate that  over 19 million voters have so far been registered. That figure  represents almost half of the country’s estimated 40 million eligible voters.

79 national and regional political parties have indicated they will run in the upcoming election, either as individual parties or as part of a front, coalition or union. Of the registered voters so far 47%, making to over 9 million voters, are women. That indicates  an increase in women’s participation in the nation’s political process.

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