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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs