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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid