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News: National Electoral Board requests clarity from Sidama police on detention of SFP members

Woubshet Ayele, deputy board chairperson of the Ethiopian National Electoral Board (Photo: ENA)

Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian National Electoral Board (ENEB) has officially requested the Sidama Regional Police Commission to provide clarification regarding the recent arrests of members of the Sidama Federalist Party (SFP) in Daye town.

The ENEB initiated an inquiry after the SFP filed a complaint on 4 October, 2023, alleging that four of its members were unlawfully detained in Daye town. Among the arrested members are Habtamu Tariku, the deputy head of the party office in Daye town and Alemayew Ayele, the secretariat of the SFC office in Bensa Woreda.

In a letter obtained by Addis Standard and signed by Woubshet Ayele, the Deputy Board Chairperson of ENEB, it was stated that the Electoral Board possesses the power to oversee affairs involving political parties. The Sidama police have been instructed to provide details concerning the arrests by 7 October, 2023, as per the set deadline.

However, according to Sidama Regional Police Commissioner Shimelis Thomas, the commission has not yet received any formal inquiry letter from the National Electoral Board regarding this issue.

On October 4, 2023, the SFP accused the Sidama regional government of illegally detaining three of its members in Daye town. Genene Hasana, the party’s leader, claimed that these actions were an attempt to suppress the party’s investigations into corruption within the region.

In response, the Sidama regional government denied the SFP’s allegations. Alemayew Timothios, the head of the Sidama Regional Peace and Security Bureau, emphasized that the detentions were carried out in accordance with legal procedures. He further accused the SFP of intentionally spreading false information to disrupt the region.

Alemayew also informed Addis Standard that authorities would continue to make arrests of SFP members, with several individuals still being sought. AS

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