Chamber election delay continues

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The controversy over nominating people for election as board members and president continues at the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association (ECCSA) as the election has been delayed. The current president is not seeking re-election.

The national chamber election was actually supposed to be completed in September, 2016.

Solomon Afework, President of ECCSA, who met with media about the situation on Thursday March 23 at Hilton Hotel, said that the national chamber is ready to conduct the election.

However, the problem occurred when the election process for the representation of the national chamber was determined to be illegal at the Amhara Chamber and Sectoral Association and the National Sectoral Association election process was found not to be inline with its own rules.

According to the process the national election should be held in September after lower level elections throughout the regions. However, the general assembly and election process at Amhara was found to have not followed the procedures set by the Ministry of Trade and the regionalbureau.

Gonder city chamber appealed to the Ministry of Trade and Amhara Region Industry and Industry Bureau. It claimed that the election of directors by the Regional Chamber was conducted before the Gonder and Bahir Dar city chambers conducted their own elections.

Based on the appeal, the Ministry of Trade overturned the regional election outcome and the upcoming election and was re-scheduled for early February.

However, on March 6 the Ministry of Industry, who is responsible for following the national Sectoral Association, suspended the general assembly and election of the association. It stated that five of the elected individuals including the president were not elected in accordance with the proper procedures that the association had ratified.

According to memorandum of association of the national sectoral association stated that the board members and president would serve for two terms, but five people were allowed to run for more than two terms.

Solomon claimed that the problem occurred when individuals considered representation as something they were entitled to. “Legal issues have to be respected by associations and individual members,” the current president said.

“We are waiting for the re-election results from the two institutes under the national election rules,” Solomon added.

The national chamber has 18 members that represent two city administrations and other regions.

Solomon, who represented the SNNP chamber, was elected in May 2014 to lead ECCSA. He told Capital that he is not interested in servingthe association for another term, that is his right to be a nominee by default is based on the rule of the associationg