Ethiopia says EU poll observer mission not essential.

The Ethiopian government has expressed disappointment at the EU’s decision not to send an observer mission to monitor the country’s 5 June national elections but said external observers were “neither essential nor necessary”.

In a statement posted on its Twitter account on 4 May, the Ethiopian foreign ministry said the government

“learnt with disappointment of the decision of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to cancel the deployment of its observation mission for the upcoming general elections”.

The statement added that when the EU asked “to observe the sixth national elections earlier this year, the government of Ethiopia

 immediately accepted and started negotiating in good faith on the draft agreement for the deployment of the observation mission”.

“While external observers could add some value to strengthen the quality of electoral processes, they are neither essential nor necessary to certify the credibility of an election.

The validity and legitimacy of Ethiopia’s election is determined solely by Ethiopian laws, Ethiopian institutions, and ultimately, by the people of Ethiopia,” the statement further said.

Ethiopia’s preparations for the June polls have been marred by low voter registration, which federal authorities have blamed on logistical challenges.

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