News / Africa

Ethiopian Ruling Party Sweeps Preliminary Election Results

Always set at 10:10, this 'clock' is an advertisement for Ethiopia's ruling party, which has a bee as its symbol
Always set at 10:10, this 'clock' is an advertisement for Ethiopia's ruling party, which has a bee as its symbol
Heather Murdock

Ethiopia announced preliminary results for its 2010 national elections on Monday, revealing what appears to be a landslide victory for the current ruling party. Human Rights Watch and Ethiopian opposition parties say the legitimacy of the election was "undermined" by voter intimidation leading up to the election. Heather Murdock reports from Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia's ruling party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), appears to have swept the country's first parliamentary elections in five years, according to preliminary results.  The chairman of the election board, Merga Bekana said the EPRDF is leading in every corner of the nation.

"Definitely, at this point EPRDF has [won], definitely," said Merga Bekana. "In all regional states, as far as the provisional result is concerned EPRDF has [won]."

In the capital Addis Ababa, the EPRDF appears to have won 20 of the 23 seats.  Five years ago, opposition parties took every seat in the city.

The EPRDF, led by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, has controlled Ethiopia since it ousted the former government in 1991, and subsequently swept three elections.  In 2005, preliminary election results sparked violent protests that killed almost 200 people.  More than 100 opposition leaders, activists and journalists were arrested.  Nearly all of them were pardoned in 2007.

While government officials have hailed the elections as, "free, fair and peaceful," Human Rights Watch and opposition party members say the governing party has gone from house to house intimidating voters.  The right's group accuses the EPRDF of threatening voters' livelihoods and sometimes homes.

In response, the Ethiopian government released a statement accusing Human Rights Watch of  "colonial arrogance."  It says the group wages a "relentless negative campaign" against countries that do not "succumb to their dictates."

The government also criticized Human Rights Watch for releasing a statement about the polls before international election observers.  The European Union is scheduled to release its preliminary report on the elections Tuesday.

Temesgen Zewdie, an opposition leader and candidate, appeared devastated by the loss. He says he has heard stories of voter intimidation, but he is not quite ready to condemn the elections.

"Some of our observers had earlier told us that they had been harassed by some individuals, and we have reported that to the election board," said Temesgen Zewdie. "But I don't know exactly if this is the cause for the disappointing results."

But election officials say they have not heard these complaints.  They say their statistics indicate a turnout of more than 90 percent, and that the elections were fair and the polling stations well run.  Official election results are scheduled to be released next month.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
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 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.
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