March 03, 2015 (GMN) - Gambella regional prominent ruling party, (GPUDM), Gambella Peoples’ Unity Democratic Movement, for the first time since it was founded as the new regional EPRDF ally in 2003 , will faces and challenges by opposition party Kinijit, also known as the Coalition for Unity and Democracy Party or (CUDP) for upcoming May council election.
According to head of Gambella regional Electoral Board Omot Odiel, there are 194000 voters registered and 342 polling stations or constituency across the region and total of 250 seats are for Gambella Regional Council members and representatives to form new government.
Total of159 seats go for GPUDM council members including 3 Members of Parliament representatives (MPS).
Total of 91 seats go for CUDP council members including 3 Members of Parliament representatives (MPS) respectively.
According to a schedule released by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, the country will go to the polls to elect a new government on 24 May 2015. This will be Ethiopia’s fifth national election. Campaigning is expected to begin officially on 14 February 2015, ending on 21 May 2015. The final result will be announced on 22 June 2015.
The importance of freedom of expression for the 2015 elections
Full respect for freedom of expression will be a critical factor in the upcoming 2015 elections. In a democracy, citizens appoint the government of their choice by voting for their preferred candidates at periodically-held elections. To be able to do this, they must be fully informed about who is contesting for elected positions, about their backgrounds and their proposed policies. For this to be possible, a democracy needs a free and pluralistic media. It also needs equal access to the media for all candidates and a regulatory framework that enables freedom of expression. Free access to information, including that held by the government, is crucial. Proper scrutiny of the incumbent government’s policies is impossible if a climate of secrecy prevails. A functioning access to information law therefore needs to be in place, and any state secrets laws and other criminal restrictions should not unjustifiably counteract the free circulation of information
Gambella Peoples’ Unity Democratic Movement, (GPUDM) is a political party in the Gambella Region of Ethiopia. It is the regional ally of the ruling EPRDF coalition.