Birtukan returns to oversee election board

photo: Anteneh Aklilu

The House of Peoples` Representatives (HPR) has appointed Birtukan Mideksa as the new Chairperson of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE).
Nominated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Birtukan replaced Ambassador Samia Zekaria, who had been chairperson of NEBE since last year.
Birtukan recently returned to Ethiopia after years in exile in the United States and was compelled to return by the ongoing reforms.
She has, in the past years resigned from her position as chairperson of Ethiopian Unity Party and before being nominated to the chairpersonship of NEBE, she has been engaged in the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington D.C. as a non-partisan research institute formed by Ethiopians.
She founded the opposition Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) party and had previously worked with opposition parties including Rainbow Ethiopia: Movement for Democracy and Social Justice and Coalition for Unity and Democracy.
The National Electoral Board is accountable to the House of Peoples Representatives and is an independent and autonomous organ for conducting elections having its own legal personality.