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Organisation : National Electorial Board of Ethiopia
Facility : Voting process
Country : Ethiopia

Voting process / Home page : http://www.electionethiopia.org/en/home.html

Voting process :
** It is known that there are three phases of election.
** These are pre election, election and post election.
** Voting process is the heart of election. so voters, election officers, political parties, candidates and other concerned bodies should be well aware of the voting process.
** The amended electoral law of Ethiopia proclamation number 532/2007 article 62 states about the briefing of operation of polling station.
** According t this article the polling station shall be operational simultaneously on the date to be fixed by the board.
** And in our case the board fixed the day on may 24/2015 that the general national election to be held.
** Before the voting started the presence of representatives of political parties and private candidates, electoral officers and public observers should be checked.
** And the chief electoral officer should show them that the ballot box is empty and all materials sealed and safe before voting started.
** Also the political party’s representatives and candidates, public observers and electoral officers should confirm about the materials and the ballot box in writing and by signing the documents prepared for this.
** The voting shall start at 6:00 in the morning.
** In the voting process there are steps that all voters shall pass through.
** When one voter goes to polling station, he/she first get security safeguards at the entrance.
** He/she shall cooperate for the security checking at the entrance.
** Next to the entrance, there is a place where briefing on the voting process will be held.
** So the voter should attend the briefing session and it helps to be aware about the party’s candidates and their logo.
** And also it helps to know how to mark on the ballot paper and related issues.
** After the briefing the voter shall keep the queue and there will be coordinators who help the voters to go one by one.
** After passing these steps the voter goes to the electoral roll to verify his name that he registered as voter before.
** And when the voters name found on the roll he /she shall sign in front of the name o confirm that they are voting.
** Next to this the electors nail shall be marked with an indelible ink by the officer who appointed to do this.
** After the nail mark the voter shall be issued with ballot papers and the voter shall mark on the ballots and fold them in the booth.
** Finally the voter shall cast the vote in the ballot box and leave the polling station at the exit door.
** We hope that this writing created some picture in your mind about the set up of polling station and voting process.
** we will keep you update on other issues.

The political parties appreciated the election board’s effort :
** On the awareness creation meeting held in Adama from March 29 – April 2 the national and regional political parties who are going to participate on the 2015 national General election appreciated the board’s effort to make the election fair, free and democratic.
** Also the political parties forwarded their thanks to the board.
** During the 4 days discussion every political parties was starting their speech by recognizing the works which done by the board and almost all of the parties was grateful.
** In the election to be held in the coming may 2015 the competition will be between 58 political parties.
** While 22 of them are national political parties and the rest are regional.
** The parties discussed on election ethics laws and election compliant resolving process.
** The political parties reflected their comment and building ideas freely and without any limitations.
** The higher level leaders of the National Election Board of Ethiopia were leading the stage and lawyer’s presented papers on the ethics and complaint resolving laws.
** As we all know Ethiopia had 4 elections before and now it is going to take place the 5th one.
** The progress of the election process is amazingly improved and the capacity of the political parties becomes stronger and stronger.
** The board chairman Prof. Merga Bekana said `this days we really proud of our political parties competency.
** The ideas raised from the political parties especially from the opposite parties, is matured and based on knowledge compared to the past years.
** The disciplines of the parties during discussion and their culture of tolerance and respect of difference of ideologies and ideas are really appreciated`.
** Also prof. Merga Mentioned that the board worked hard to this result by delivering capacity building trainings and awareness creation trainings starting from 2013 continuously up to today.
** From this said the chairman, know we are here listening to political parties recognizing our effort and showing their respect do the board rather than complaining on the board and accusing it for its partiality as before.
** Vice Chairman of the board Dr. Adisu G/Egziabiher also reflected during the discussion and said that he is very happy by seeing the parties’ confidence and the improvement in ethics, ideas and commitments and he promised on behalf of the board that the support and the commitment of the national election board of Ethiopia to the political parties will continue strongly.

ELECTION AND ETHICAL REPORTING :
FREEDOM OF MEDIA :
** The media has significant roles on the development of the country’s political, social and economical aspects.
** After Ethiopia became free from Autocratic regime holistic changes have been seen in different sectors including media industry.
** The democratic principles and practice like freedom of speech, freedom of idea was ideal and didn’t practice among citizens before Ethiopia adopted the democratic system.
** Also during the king’s era and the Dergue regime media was the instrument of the leading party to transmit only the governing party idea.
** The citizens are not allowed expressing their ideas using the media.
** The 1987 constitution article 29 states that the citizens have the right to express their ideas freely.
** This freedom can be expressed by speech, written and printed materials.
** This right has its responsibilities and duties in exception.
** If the given freedom affects the interest of others security and the public peace, right and moral the law shall limit the right.
** Based on this we can see the ethics of mass media institutions and journalists on the manner of reporting about election.

PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE OF JOURNALISM AND ETHICS :
** Practically now adays mass Medias are working to create awareness among nations about the current political, economical and social aspects of the country.
** But this doesn’t mean that the goal was achieved regarding professionalism and the ethics.
** This is because of shortage of journalism training institution, lack of strong, influential and organized professional association even though the existing association isn’t strong.
** This has influenced the well organized development of the sector so that the deliverance of accurate and qualified information was biased.
** In addition to this since the private media has no well organized source of capital they mainly focused on generating financial benefits and they can deliver ethically not bounded information to the society.

JOURNALISM & ELECTION :
** In any cases the Board of election makes its door open to receive and give any information regarding election.
** So that citizens can have legal information through the Medias.
** As well the Board is working jointly with political parties.
** Also the Mass Medias should work in the election process by encouraging electors, by transmitting information which help electors to make decision, by making them self impartial from any political party or deputy they expected to carry out their responsibility ethically.
** Concerning this, the code of conduct for the mass media and journalists on the manner of reporting about elections regulation number 6/2010 states about impartiality in detailed.
** The regulation proclaims about rule of law, the responsibility of the journalists, the responsibility of the mass media, the responsibility of the political parties and other related issues.

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE JOURNALISTS ON REPORTING ABOUT ELECTION :
** In the media industry it is well known that the media by itself is the organization comprised of different structural framework including management, journalists and so on.
** However the back bone of the institutios is journalist.
** The information transmitted to the public by the mass media is produced and edited by journalists.
** It is known that the journalist involves in all stages from planning the program up to the finally edited version which will be posted to public.
** So that journalists should be ethical to the issue they have seen and hear from the source to the output.
** Especially in the national issues like election the journalist had the obligation to report impartially by considering the consequences of the report and the power of the information once it address every one’s ear.
** The journalist should be sure about the sources and the accuracy of the information.
** The news and the reports should be based on the main issue released from the source.
** Beyond this, using emotional expressions which advocate partiality, discrimination or violence and against the professional ethics may disturbs the peaceful election process.
** The law warns the journalist to not try this type of reporting. May be when the journalist reports the opinions of those who do advocate discrimination or violence the laws put such views in a clear context and do report the opinion of those against whom sun sentiments are directed.

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MASS MEDIA ON REPORTING ABOUT ELECTION :
** The mass media institutions should work responsibly when reporting on election.
** According to this any mass media should differentiate reports on the main issue and personal commentary.
** When the mass media reports on election they should focus on the truth and real information.
** Personal commentary on the issue shall be reflected on the page of editorial.
** But the public Medias can not reflect any comments which support or oppose any political party or deputy in their editorials.
** The mass media should work any election related report without any discrimination among political parties or deputies.

CONCLUSION :
The Ethiopian election board has a goal in the election consists of peace, justice, democratic and transparent election. To achieve the goal the mass media, journalist and parties have significant role. And those sectors have responsibility as well. So mass Media should focus on the peaceful election process rather than giving due attention to their financial interests.

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  1. Which political parties will participate in Sebeta town and who will win?

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