ADDIS ABABA-- The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has requested some of the political parties which had been based overseas previously to swiftly fulfill requirements for their registration as provided for in the Political Parties Registration Proclamation.

The NEBE and these returning political parties have held consultative discussions aimed at acquainting the constitutional prerequisites for the registration of political parties.

NEBE Chairperson Samia Zekaria said here Tuesday the Board is undertaking reforms regarding building its capacity by introducing various automation facilities to build a modern electoral system.

Registered political parties which did not take part in the last two national general elections should be registered anew according to the proclamation, she added.

Moreover, unless further amendments are introduced the proclamation bans citizens of Ethiopian origin with foreign citizenship from forming a political party in Ethiopia, it was indicated.

Participants of the consultative meeting appreciated some of the bold moves of the government but questioned the legitimacy of the ongoing reforms and called for a tangible legal guarantee for their prompt implementation.

The participants requested the establishment of a neutral and independent Board in which the political parties can actively participate.

Mentioning that the current Board is providing services only during elections, the parties suggested the involvement of think-thanks to initiate a research centre which would continuously produce professionals who can assure the holding of fair, free and democratic elections.

Among political parties which took part in the consultations were the Oromo Liberation Front, All Amhara Peoples Organization, Tigray Democratic Coalition Party, and Afar Peoples Party.