The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) held a two-day discussion on the use and allocation of media during the election campaign.
National Electoral Board of Ethiopia held a discussion on the use and allocation during the election on March 24 and 25, 2021.The first day was a discussion with media executives. The forum was opened by the Deputy Chairman of the Board, Woubshet Ayele. In his speech, Woubshet explained the purpose of the forum to the participants and urged the media to treat the parties fairly in the use of airtime. Following the Deputy Speaker's speech, a member of the Board's Legal Department explained the directive (12/2013) on the use and allocation of the media during the election campaign. Through the experience of head of communication of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia and the staff of the Broadcasting Authority on the use and allocation of the media as well as related issues and the past experiences of the airtime allocation, it was explained that it is based on the number and capacity of the media.
The second day's discussion was held in the presence of the media with political parties regarding the use and allocation of the media during the election campaign and the financial support of political parties and the forum was opened by the chairman of the board, Birtukan Mideksa. Following the chairperson's speech, Fikre Gebrehiwot, the board's leader, spoke about the training of polling station officials at all levels of the board. The Chairperson, on her side, explained the general situation of the voter registration process, described the sites that started registration at the required time and the limitations encountered indicating voter registration is better than candidate registration. Since voters’ registration has better time of the essence, it can be used to correct gaps in the work process and achieve better results. She asked the parties to inform the board in due course of the gaps they are facing.
Following is a presentation by the Broadcasting Authority and the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia on the use and allocation of the media and the financial support of political parties during the election campaign, participants raised questions about the use and allocation of media, creating ambiguous meanings that would be difficult to put into practice. Deputy Chairperson of the Board, Woubshet Ayele, briefed the participants on the financial support of political parties while further explanation was forwarded by the chairperson, Birtukan. Though political parties were asked to choose the content and types arguments they wanted, but only a limited number of parties have submitted so far. Moreover, the chairperson explained that there are parties that have not submitted their list of candidates yet. Indeed, she urged the parties to submit their information in a timely manner as it will help in the process.