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Ethiopia's Ruling Party Says Polling Station Results Affirm Electoral Victory


Ethiopia’s ruling party says it won Sunday’s parliamentary elections, but the opposition says the claim is premature. The opposition Coalition for Democracy and Unity says votes have not been counted in some precincts and that official results are not expected until June 8th.

Late yesterday, the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF, said it won enough seats in southern region, Oromia, Amhara and Tigray to form a new government, but it did concede defeat in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Today the European Union asked both sides to wait for official results before declaring victory. EU observers said the poll was orderly, although there was concern about claims of intimidation. The United States has called on both sides to respect the outcome of the election.

Bereket Simon is the spokesman for the ruling EPRDF in Addis Ababa. He told English to Africa reporter William Eagle that figures from the polling stations – which he says are available to all parties, elections officers and international observers – show that the ruling party lost in many cities, but won in rural areas. He attributed what he considers to be his party’s overall win in part to better campaign infrastructure. And, he accuses the opposition of accepting the elections results that favor it, but rejecting the tally when it shows an overall majority for the government.

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