The Wray Witten Law Forum of Mekelle University at School of Law organized a public lecture under the title ‘The Need to Reform Electoral System in Ethiopia; Problem Diagnosis and the Way Forward’. The public lecture was presented by Mr. Gebremeskel Hailu, Asst. Professor of Constitutional and Public Laws at Mekelle University, School of Law, and it was held on December 2, 2017at Moot Court Hall, Adi-haqi Campus.

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According to the extract from the presentation’s abstract, in modern democracy, parliamentary representatives need to be elected. However, this may not necessarily warrant the democratic virtues unless the electoral system which translates the votes into seats is crafted rightly to maintain and encourage fair election results, ensure legitimacy of the government, multipartism and interdependence among rival politicians and the groups they represent thereby promote inclusive and trustworthy democracy. These are highly demanded in diversified societies and societies with poor political culture of tolerance, like Ethiopia.
Nevertheless, the existing Ethiopian electoral system has large discontents. The presentation aims to investigate such discontents of the ‘first-past- the-post’ electoral system taking empirical data from the 2005, 2010 and 2015 general elections.
In view of the discontents, there is a genuine concern of reforming the Ethiopian electoral system from both the government and the opposition political parties. The question remains, however, which electoral system best suits the Ethiopian situation from the bulk of alternatives? In choosing the best alternative electoral system, in the academia, a list of criteria have to be set first which sum up what a country wants to achieve and what it wants to avoid or in a broader sense what it wants its political system to look like. The possible alternative electoral systems are evaluated against the specific criteria designed. In view of this, this piece of work tries to look in to the undergoing electoral reform and the prospects of the proposed choice to improve the problems of the FPTP electoral system.

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