Ethiopia lifts ban on Tigray party, paving way for elections

In a significant move towards reconciliation, the Ethiopian parliament passed legislation allowing the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to re-register as a political party. 

The TPLF was previously banned for its role in the two-year war against the federal government.

This amendment to the “Electoral, Political Parties Registration, and Electoral Ethics Proclamation” passed with overwhelming support, signaling a potential shift towards a more peaceful political landscape. 

The new law allows parties accused of armed struggle to register under specific conditions, paving the way for the TPLF’s reintegration into the political process.

Government officials emphasized the importance of this move. 

Tesfaye Belejge, a government representative, stated it would “enable forces… to pursue a legal and peaceful alternative,” fostering long-term stability. 

Tigray’s regional leader,Getachew Reda, also welcomed the decision, calling it “a step in the right direction in consolidating peace.”

The amended law outlines the requirements for party registration and the role of the National Election Board (NEBE) in the process. 

This follows the NEBE’s revocation of the TPLF’s registration in 2021 after the group was designated a terrorist organization during the conflict. 

Following the Pretoria Agreement that ended the war in late 2022, the terrorist label was removed. 

However, earlier this year, the NEBE rejected the TPLF’s initial attempt to re-register due to a lack of legal framework for such a case. 

This new legislation addresses that gap, potentially paving the way for the TPLF’s return to Ethiopian politics.

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