Joint declaration By UEDF, CUD and EPRDF on the NEBE complaints review and Investigation process 10 June 2005

Joint declaration By UEDF, CUD and EPRDF on the NEBE complaints review and Investigation process 10 June 2005

  1. The signatories of this declaration:-
    • re-affirm their commitment to the successful and peaceful conclusion of the electoral process, in a manner that fully respects the wishes of the people, the rule of law and constitutional processes of the country
    • re-assert their condemnation of all acts of violence or incitement to violence and agree to make all possible efforts to prevent such violence or incitement to violence, to exercise restraint, and seek resolution of all issues through legal and peaceful means only.
    • declare their commitment to the decision-making procedures established by the Proclamation on Electoral law for deciding upon complaints of election irregularities and to abide by them.
    • accept the legal authority of the National Election Board of Ethiopia and the courts in those procedures and commit to abide by the decisions they make on the basis of the authority invested in them by the laws of the country, and refrain from all acts intended to subvert such decisions, without prejudice to their constitutional rights.
    • recognize the positive role being played by the Joint Political Party Forum in resolving disputes between the parties in a consensual manner and in enhancing the transparency of the process.
    • note the decision of the NEBE to review and investigate the 299 complaints of electoral irregularities that have been submitted by political parties.
    • affirm the need for there to be public confidence and transparency in the decision making procedures.
    • express their wish to participate in the review and investigation process.
    • urge international observers to accept the NEBE? invitation to observe the complaints and results process.
  2. As agreed in the meeting of the Joint Political Party Forum of 30 May 2005, the signatories of this declaration are committed to participate fairly and constructively in the Complaints Investigation Panels to be established by NEBE.
  3. Noting the establishment of an ad-hoc Complaints Review Body consisting of legal experts appointed by the NEBE, the signatories request of the NEBE that they are able to participate in hearings so as to provide clarification of existing evidence and, where appropriate to submit new evidence, prior to the final recommendations of the Complaints Review Body. Such a role is intended to ensure that the Complaints Review body makes its recommendations with all available information.
  4. As the work of the Complaint Review Body has already commenced, the signatories call on the NEBE to urgently and positively respond to these requests.

signed by:- EPRDF , UEDF and CUD

Joint Declaration by CUD, UEDF and EPRDF 13 June 2005

  1. The signatories re-affirm their commitment to the joint public declaration they made on 10 June.
  2. As a signatory to the 10 June declaration, the CUD retracts its statements on 10 June that appeared to question or put pre-conditions to its commitment to the joint declaration. The other signatoreis welcome this retraction.
  3. Having received draft terms of reference for the operation of the NEBE complaints review procedures, the signatories commit themselves to consider and agree to these terms of reference as soon as possible.
  4. The signatories confirm that they stand ready to implement their 10 June declaration in an open, constructive, inclusive and consensual manner. The signatories agree to discuss the precise modalities for implementing their joint declaration in a conducive environment.

Signed by :-CUD, UEDF,EPRDF


Prime Minister’s Meles Zenawi Response to Members of Congress

June 28, 2005

Your Honourables,

I wish to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated June 20, 2005 and to thank you for your concern about the current situation in our country. I am particularly relieved and grateful to Your Honourables for reassuring me that it is in the mutual interest of both countries that Ethiopia be as secure, stable and prosperous as possible.

We embarked on the process of democratic reform in our country not to please or displease anyone, but because we are convinced that there can be neither stability nor prosperity without democracy in Ethiopia. It is based on such conviction that we have embarked on the various democratic reforms including the election of May 15, 2005 and it is based on such conviction that we shall continue to protect and extend our democratic victories.

It is to be recalled that in the run-up to the elections, much of the opposition and some friends particularly in the U.S. Congress had expressed concern about its free and fair nature. All credible domestic and international observers have declared that the elections, including the processes of the election day have been free, fair and transparent by any standard and not just by Ethiopian or African standards.

The bulk of the opposition had all along publicly declared that its interest was not to win seats in parliament, but to use the electoral process to remove the constitutional order through extra-constitutional means. While in Ethiopia, as I presume is also the case in the United States, such an act would be an act of high treason, we felt their agenda should be challenged by political, electoral means rather than by legalistic means.

In this context, we defeated their attempts to smear the pre-election and polling day processes by going out of our way to ensure a fair, free and transparent process, a process that was declared to be such by all who had the opportunity to observe it. We however knew based on their publicly declared script for an unconstitutional grab of power that they mistakenly likened to the so-called "Rose" and "Orange" revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, that they would try and use the election counting process to not only smear the elections but to launch their final revolution.

Consistent with our decision to face the challenge by political and electoral means, we again went out of our way and on the morrow of polling day asked all foreign observers to observe the investigations into the possible allegations of election irregularities. We put forward a process of addressing such concerns that was exemplary in its transparency and fairness. We made sure that the opposition would not get the excuse they were seeking to subvert the constitutional order.

In the end, those who were seeking excuses to launch their "revolution" could not be deterred by transparent, free and fair processes alone and created the disturbances of June 8. Your Honourables would be mistaken if you believed that our compatriots died on June 8 as a result of state sponsored violence in a confrontation between the police and "enthusiastic demonstrators". The tragic deaths were the result of the opposition’s attempt to subvert the constitutional order and the government’s legitimate attempts to prevent it.

I fail to understand why Your Honourables thought that the election of "so many opposition candidates" was "a bitter disappointment" to us. This was the result of our determination to bring about democratic change in our country. It was and is a victory of democracy in Ethiopia. I presume I am better placed to know how the ruling coalition feels about the results, and as I have said in public on a number of occasions, we consider the process and the results as a tremendous victory for democracy in Ethiopia and for the ruling coalition as the prime mover of democratic change in Ethiopia.

In the penultimate paragraph of your joint letter dated 20 June, 2005 you state that "The people of Addis Ababa have been unable to work, buy food, access electricity, and tend to basic daily living needs due to the ongoing state of emergency and violence in the streets." Under normal circumstances, I would have dismissed such an assertion which does not even remotely resemble the facts on the ground as an assertion coming from the fertile imagination of some of the financiers of the opposition in the U.S., many of whom are facing charges in Ethiopia for crimes against humanity that they committed as officials of the Mengistu regime. But coming as it does from a number of prominent senators and congressmen of the United States it can only be treated, however unfounded it is, with the respect it deserves.

Your Honourables,

Ethiopia needs all the friends it can have, and the U.S. is clearly a vital friend to us. It therefore goes without saying that we need the support and understanding of Your Honourables. It is in this context that I want to re-assure you that Ethiopia is currently peaceful and stable, that we will complete the election process by carrying out a totally transparent and fair investigations into the alleged irregularities and redressing wrongs, if any. We will naturally enforce the rule of law in our country and prevent any attempt to subvert the constitutional process, in a firm but restrained and legal manner. Above all, I wish to re-assure Your Honourables that we shall persevere on the path of democracy no matter what obstacles we might face along the way.

It would be dishonest on my part if I were to conclude without expressing my disappointment at the apparent lack of balance in the information on which your views have been based. I believe as friends of Ethiopia, you ought to have balanced information and to listen to both sides before you make your minds.

Please accept, Honourables, the assurances of my highest esteem and consideration.


Committee on International Relations

Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human
Rights and International Operations
Committee on International Relations

Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation
Committee on International Relations

Ranking Democratic Member
Committee on International Relations

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

Member of Congress
Member of Congress
Member of Congress

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

Congress of the United States of America
W a s h i n g t o n D c
Letter to P.M. Meles Zenawi

Congress of usa- June 20, 2005

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