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Blue’s presser canceled for unknown reasons

Semayawi Party’s, aka the Blue Party (Blue), planned press conference slated for Friday at Harambee Hotel was cancelled for unexplained reasons, Abebe Akalu, head of public relations of the party, told The Reporter.

The party had planned to organize the press conference to brief both local and international journalists on the party’s new strategy to cope with the current situation of the country and other related issues as well as a demonstration at Meskel Square here scheduled for Sunday, October 8, 2017, Abebe said.

Though the party had already publicized a press conference to take place at Harambee Hotel and fulfilled all the necessary requirements, including payment for the hall, for unknown reasons the hotel declined to host the press conference.

Following the hotel’s refusal to host the presser, party leaders and administrators of the hotel were debating for about an hour. However, the administrators stood their ground without even providing proper justification. They also refused to field questions from journalists who were on hand to cover the press conference.

Due to the refusal from the hotel and the ensuing squabble, party leaders finally decided to hold the press conference at the head office of the All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP) and aired their concern about the cancelation of their presser, the situation between the Oromia and Somali regions, their planned demonstration and other issues related to the current situation in the country.

“The party had finalized all the necessary preparations and had already paid 4,400 birr in fees to secure a venue to hold its press conference in the hotel. However, the administrators of the hotel cancelled it for unknown reasons and this situation indeed is a manifestation of how the system is becoming more stiff and repressive,” Aron Seyfu, head of research and strategy of the party, told journalists.

Aron further opined, “This is not a demonstration or a town hall meeting; it is just a press conference and, hence, denial to conduct a press conference shows the extent of the repression.”                     

Established in 2012, Semayawi Party is an opposition political party that operates throughout the country and was one of the major contenders in the 2010 national elections. The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and its allies won one hundred percent of parliamentary seats.