By Mahlet Fasil @MahletFasil
Addis Abeba, May 26, 2021- The Federal Supreme Court Cassation Bench has rejected the appeal made by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) to reverse the decision made by the Supreme Court allowing Hararis living outside the Harari Regional State to vote for National Assembly members.
The NEBE filed an appeal at the Cassation Bench after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Harari National Assembly (HNA) disputing the decision by the board to disallow the voting
The NEBE filed an appeal at the Cassation Bench after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Harari National Assembly (HNA) disputing the decision by the board to disallow the voting. The (NEBE) rejected the request made by Harari National Assemblyrequested to carry on a practice to elect their representative which was granted to them by the House of People’s Representatives (HoPR) back in 1995. The NEBE said the request has no constitutional grounds and therefore will be terminated as of the 6th general election, although the Harari community enjoyed the practice during the last five five general elections.
The NEBE and the HNA argued over whether or not the Federal Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the case. The Cassation Bench cited the Electoral Board Establishment Proclamation which allows anyone who is dissatisfied with the administrative decisions of the Board to appeal at the Supreme Court. The board had told the Supreme Court that the decision needs to be made by the House of Federation (HoF) and not by the Court. At today’s hearing, the board argued that the decision needs a constitutional interpretation, to which the cassation court responded by saying that the court only refers cases it believes need a constitutional interpretation, subsequently rejecting the board’s argument.
The court made a reference to the regional constitution which grants protection to the identity, culture and language of ethnic minorities and sustained the rule made by the Supreme Court to allow the Hararis living outside the Harari Regional State to vote for National Assembly members. AS