ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Opposition, who has just returned from exile, has been named leader of elections from Ethiopia on Thursday, when the country is preparing for reforms of reformist prime minister to be "free and fair" in 2020.
Birtukan Mideksa, a former judge, is the most advanced opposing opposition to assume a high government in Ethiopia in recent history. She is also the most recent of several women appointed to high profile in the new administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Birtukan is among the Ethiopians who returned to the country after years in exile, encouraged by the dramatic political reforms announced by Abiy since he was engaged in April. She was chosen by Abiy to lead the selection board after the two met during her recent visit to the United States, where in a series of enthusiastic meetings he urged people frustrated by previous administrations to return home. Managers approved the election on Thursday.
"Introduces a democratic election for the first time, then defeating will come later," Abiy told legislators. "Putting free and fair choices is the fundamental calculation for a democratic system. We must all stand firm so that the next election will not be rigid."
Birtukan left Ethiopia after years of friction with the previous administration. She was arrested shortly after the violent and controversial 2005 election that caused the deaths of several dozens. Opposition leaders were imprisoned after they accused Meles Zenawi's administration of rigoring the vote.
She lent a 18-month prison before being pardoned in 2007 but was arrested in 2008 and condemned to live in prison after the employees accused her of violating the terms of her pardon. She left the country after being released again in 2010 and returned this month.
Also on Thursday, the prime minister in reactions by legislators said the country would need to build a new village to keep all suspected of corruption and rights on abuses in previous administrations.
Abiy said that "the prisons we have here in Ethiopia are not enough to deal with the vast number of criminals … we have chosen to focus on major cases and leave the rest for a commission commission."
Sixty-three intelligent employees, military personnel and retailers were arrested per month on allegations of abuses and corruption.
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