Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ethiopian parties reject poll results

By ARGAW ASHINE, NATION Correspondent

ADDIS ABABA, Thursday

Ethiopian opposition parties have rejected Sunday’s national election results and called for a fresh poll after the landslide by the ruling party.

The ruling EPRDF won 499 seats and the coalition of eight opposition parties won only one seat in 547 seat parliaments.

Ethiopia’s main opposition coalition ‘Medrek’ (Forum) and the All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP) have sent a letter to the national election board calling for a fresh poll. Opposition politicians said Sunday’s polls were riddled with fraud.

Is yet to reply

The election board is yet to reply to the request. Medrek chairman Beyene Petros told reporters his party’s election observers were turned away at poll centres and voters and candidates were intimidated.

“The situation was full of intimidation and irregularities deliberately orchestrated by the ruling party” Mr Beyene said.

“We will not accept the results and we will call for fresh election” Mr Beyene added.

Mr Beyene (PhD), a veteran opposition figure and parliamentarian since 1992 was himself was one of the losers in Sunday’s election in a Southern Ethiopia rural district. “The process of the elections was not democratic-building but was a regression in democracy,” said Mr Hailu Shawel, Another conservative opposition leader.

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