Dr. Berhanu Nega speaks on expectations for Ethiopia’s upcoming elections

Dr. Berhanu Nega, chairman of the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (ECSJ) party discusses political reform in Ethiopia during his last in-person appearance at the Atlantic Council in June 2019. (Atlantic Council/James Wholley)

On Wednesday, February 24, the Africa Center welcomed back to the Atlantic Council platform Dr. Berhanu Nega, chairman of the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (ECSJ) party, for a private virtual roundtable focused on Ethiopia’s upcoming elections. Africa Center Senior Fellow Gabriel Negatu provided opening remarks, before ceding the floor to Director of Programs and Studies Bronwyn Bruton to moderate.

Responding to questions, Dr. Nega described Ethiopia’s general election, slated for June, as a historic moment, with implications for the broader Horn of Africa region. He outlined his party’s unique non-ethnic platform and grassroots approach, while reflecting on the campaign environment, the timeline of the election, political participation, and how the United States and others could play a role in supporting the National Electoral Board’s capacity.

Dr. Nega concluded with the hope that by the end of June, the people of Ethiopia will have spoken and that the election results will reflect the will of the people. This would need to be built upon further but would represent a significant step in Ethiopia’s democratic growth.