Addis Abeba – The Federal High Court has ruled upholding the National Election Board of Ethiopia’s (NEBE) decision declining a request to register Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) as a new regional party.
On 12 June, NEBE ruled invalid a request by an individual named Gebre Michael Tesfay and three other unnamed individuals to be granted the name TPLF as a regional party, based on relevant provisions of Proclamation number 1162/2019 of the Ethiopian Electoral, Political Parties Registration and Elections Code of Conduct Proclamation article 86/1 which stipulates “the designation of any political party shall not be similar to or create confusion with the designation of another political party and shall be the sole designation of the party”.
The individuals, who submitted the request along with a list of “120 founding members” in a letter to the Board on 29 May 2023, took the case to the federal high court and following a proceeding on 04 August 2023, the court’s election disputes bench upheld the decision by NEBE declining the request.
According to a statement by NEBE the court stated that a party known by the mentioned name “existed” for many years and the creation of a new party with the same name will confuse voters.
It is recalled that in a decision issued on 13 May the Board had declined to reinstate TPLF’s re-registration as a political party on grounds that it is not supported by the electoral law. The decision followed TPLF’s request to the Board to reverse its January 2021 decision cancelling the party on the grounds it was engaged in armed struggle. Both the Tigray Interim Administration and the TPLF rejected the Board’s decision as unacceptable both legally and politically, living the fate of the party in a legal limbo. AS