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The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and 15 opposition political parties agreed on Friday to institute a mixed electoral system in Ethiopia.
Conducting negotiations for the past two months over the Amended Electoral Law of Ethiopia, especially Proclamation No. 532/2007, the sides have been haggling over different articles of the proclamation with a view to widening the political space.
At the beginning of this round of negotiations, EPRDF proposed 90 percent to be taken by majority vote (First-Past-the-post) while the remaining 10 percent to be administered by the proportional electoral rule. Meanwhile, opposition parties proposed a different arrangement—with the 11 parties that forged unity for this purpose proposing a 50-50 arrangement.
During the first session, both the ruling and opposition political parties presented their justifications about their propositions and conducted a heated debate but failed to reach an agreement and made an appointment for another round of negotiations.
Subsequently, the parties got together and again proposed their modified numbers towards the composition of the mixed electoral system. This time around, the ruling party amended its proposal to 85-15 while the 11 parties proposed 60- 40, each side supporting its positions with arguments. However, the negotiators again failed to reach an agreement and made another appointment.
On Wednesday, EPRDF again amended it proposal to 80-20 and the 11 parties argued in favor of 60-40, with each side asserting its position to be final.
At this stage, the 11 parties asked the mediators that they be given some time so as to discuss the matter with their respective party members. Obtaining the green light from the mediators, the 11 opposition parties yesterday accepted the ratio of the mixed electoral system proposed by the ruling party.