[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Ethiopian scam election
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Tue May 20 05:26:10 BST 2008
Ruling party dominates elections
May 19, 2008 Edition 1
ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia's ruling party won nearly all seats in last
month's local and parliamentary polls that were marred by boycotts and
accusations of repression, the electoral board said yesterday.
The ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) won
97% of the vote held on April 13 and April 20, according to the board's
The party won more than 3.5 million of the 3.6 million seats contested,
with clean sweeps in most councils, it said.
"The EPRDF won 38 out of 39 seats in parliament, 137 out of 138 in the
capital's city council, and among others, all the seats in the sub-city
and zonal councils in Addis Ababa and SNNPR (Southern Nations,
Nationalities, and People's Region)," board chief Merga Bekana said.
The board reported a turnout of 93% of 26.3 million eligible voters.
The polls were marred by accusations of repression against opposition
parties, several of which carried out boycotts.
Around 3.7 million candidates competed for almost as many local council
and parliamentary seats, but opposition groups only managed to field a
few thousand contestants.
In a report issued before the polls, New York-based Human Rights Watch
condemned "systemic patterns of repression and abuse that have rendered
the elections meaningless in many areas".
Opposition parties won an unprecedented number of parliament's 547 seats
in 2005 general elections, which the European Union and many observers
said fell short of international standards.
Around 200 people died in the ensuing unrest, which erupted after
allegations that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's party had rigged the
ballot. - Sapa-AFP
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