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Ethiopian Opposition Says Two of Its Observers Arrested While Monitoring Sunday's Elections

One of Ethiopia’s two main opposition blocs – the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces, UEDF – says six of its observers were arrested while trying to monitor yesterday’s special elections. The incident took place in the town of Shona, in the Hadiya zone of the Ethiopia’s southern region, the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Regional State.

Dr. Bayene Petros is the first vice chair of the UEDF. He told English to Africa reporter William Eagle the observers were arrested as they tried to point out alleged irregularities in the ballot.

In a separate matter, Dr. Bayene also says some of his recent remarks regarding the make-up of a future government have been misunderstood. Some news sources quoted him as calling for talks on how to form a government of national unity, since the ruling party may not win enough votes to form a government by itself. Dr. Bayene says he is only suggesting that the opposition and the government enter into dialogue and negotiations – in part to keep the situation calm while disputes are settled over the counting of the ballots.