News / Africa

Ethiopian Opposition Figure Appeals for Unity in Future Elections

Seye Abreha calls on other opposition parties to bury their differences, form coalition to challenge PM Zenawi’s ruling party

Election officials close the last ballot box at a polling station in Addis Ababa's historic district at the end of voting day, 23 May 2010
Election officials close the last ballot box at a polling station in Addis Ababa's historic district at the end of voting day, 23 May 2010

Multimedia

Audio
  • Seye Abreha, Vice Chairman of Ethiopia’s opposition Unity for Democracy and Justice spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

The Vice Chairman of Ethiopia’s opposition Unity for Democracy and Justice has called on other opposition parties to bury their differences and form a coalition to challenge Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s ruling party in future elections.

Seye Abreha said Ethiopia’s Electoral Board was an accomplice in rigging the May 23 poll in which it declared the ruling Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) winner with a landslide victory.

“I think the Electoral Board was itself an accomplice in what was going on with regards to this election in our country and that is why they did not care to look into our complaints and the declaration they gave today [Monday] is not unexpected,” he said.

Abreha’s comments come after the electoral board confirmed Monday the electoral victory of the ruling EPRDF winning 545 seats in Ethiopia’s 547-member parliament.

Several opposition groups rejected the results of the election claiming it was fraught with voter irregularities and demanded a re-run. The opposition also said their supporters were being intimidated and harassed by the agents of the government ahead of the vote, a charge the ruling party denies.

Both Washington and the European Union accused Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government of narrowing Ethiopia’s political space. In a statement, the Obama administration accused the Ethiopian government of repression, harassment and intimidation. It criticized the election process, saying an environment conducive to free and fair elections was not in place.

Vice Chairman Abreha said the government has wiped out any democratic gains Ethiopia has made over the years.

“It’s unfortunate that we are going back to where we were 20 years ago after a 19 years experiment with multi-party democracy,” Abreha said.

Local media quoted Prime Minister Meles Zenawi as saying that Ethiopia’s law allows for parties to demand a new vote, if they can prove in court that the ballot was fraudulent. But, he says the election was successful and voters were able to freely choose candidates without intimidation or coercion.

Abreha said there is need for the opposition parties to regroup.

“It requires pausing, thinking and re-thinking and re-inventing the opposition of this country again. Whatever policy differences there might be among the opposition, I think we have to come together on the minimum issues of democracy and rule of law. There is no way we can proceed to other issues unless these fundamentals are tackled jointly,” Abreha said.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid