By: Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12
Addis Ababa, June 23, 2021- Votes were cast for Ahmed Jebel,an independent candidate who was running for a seat in the House of People’s Representatives(HoPR) in Jimma city despite his announcement of withdrawal on social media a few days ago. It was a little over a week ago that the prominent Muslim cleric announced via a post on his Facebook page his withdrawal from the national election. Addis Standard found out that, however, people cast their vote for him and his name was posted on the result announcement board at polling stations.
At a presser yesterday, Soliyana Shimelis, the communication advisor at the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia(NEBE), addressed the issue by explaining that the board haven’t receive a formal notification about the withdrawal of any candidate. She articulated, “We have 148 registered private candidates. Any candidate, be it an independent or a party member, has to fill out paperwork and submit it to the board when they plan to withdraw from contesting in the election.”
Soliyana reminded that the board does not issue a decision based on information from social media. She recalled that becoming a candidate, registering for candidacy and the withdrawal thereof are legal processes with their own procedures.
Ahmedin was a key leader in the 2011 Muslim protests that went well into 2012 before being arrested alongside all key members of the Muslim Arbitrary Committee. “Jimma city should be represented by capable men who can understand and represent the demands of Jimma,” Ahmed explained to his over 700,000 followers on Facebook on June 14, 2021. Addis Standard’s repeated attempts to contact Ahmedin for comments were unsuccessful. AS