In an attempt to make the May 2020 elections free and fair, the current reformist Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, is today appointing the famous former opposition woman as head of the electoral council.
A former judge and one of the women leaders of the opposition party Bitretukan Mideks was arrested after the controversial national elections in Ethiopia in 2005.
The decision is made in accordance with the promise of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia to improve the country's electoral process. This shows the government’s readiness for elections in May 2010 and its political commitment by strengthening the independent electoral council, according to the head of the prime minister.
After her release, she lived in the United States and returned home a few weeks ago to support the reform measures undertaken by Prime Minister Abyem Ahmed.
Birtukan, known by her supporters as an iron lady, vowed in the morning in the parliament in Addis Ababa as chairman of the board of the National Electoral Council of Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian ruler, who was criticized for abusing human rights and failed to feed his people, accepted the former rebels in 1991, recently began appointing educated women in key decision-making areas after the arrival of Prime Minister Abi.
The premiere recently granted 50% of his ministerial office for highly qualified women, including the Minister of Defense and Peace, who is responsible for all the security of the country, and also appointed a woman President of the Supreme Court a few weeks ago.
The question many people are asking now is whether these women can end the suffering of 100 million plus the population of Ethiopia, a rich nation with poor people? Or will they continue the business, as usual, falling under the influence of men?
Her public profile shows that when she worked in the federal judicial system, Birtukan was appointed a judge in the 3rd District Court of the Federal First Instant Court.
During this time, she presided over the high-profile cases of the former Minister of Defense and a high-ranking TPLF official, Sytha Abrah, who was accused of corruption.
She put the defendant on bail, and a few minutes later she was surprised when the government authorities arrested these things, when he left the court accompanied by his family and friends.
Birtukan decided to join a political party to help bring about change, including recognition of the rule of law and full respect for the implementation of the constitution.
She joined the Rainbow Ethiopia: Movement for Democracy and Social Justice, and then the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD). In the 2005 elections, her party won more than a third of the seats.
Party members believed that they would have won even more seats if they had not voted and counted violations. After the election, the ruling party began to surround the leaders of the opposition party, Birtukan, who was convicted of trying to overthrow the constitutional order and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
She was pardoned in 2007 after lengthy negotiations and after she, together with other opposition leaders, spent 18 months in prison, following her profile.
Later Birtukan founded UDJ (Unity for Democracy and Justice) with the same principles that were guided by CUD. The need to have a new party name was based on the fact that the election commission of the ruling party was awarded to a group of fragments from CUD (aka Kinijit). Birtukan was elected chairman of the UDJ, whose goal was to bring about change in Ethiopia by peaceful means.