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Ethiopia Says Vote Was an Overwhelming Success

Ethiopian election officials say more than 90 percent of the country's 25 million voters took part in yesterday's parliamentary elections. The chairman of the National Electoral Board, Kemal Bedri, says there were some problems in the voting, but adds they were insignificant. International election monitors say the only serious problems were the masses of voters who swamped polling stations.

The main opposition party is the Coalition for Unity and Democracy. The CUD alleges the ruling party rigged the vote. Meanwhile, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has imposed a month-long ban on demonstrations in the capital city of Addis Ababa, effective today. Mr. Kemal told English to Africa reporter William Eagle that the ban is an effort to keep the peace. He adds that in Ethiopia all protests must be approved in advance by authorities. He says poll results will be known at the constituency level by May 21st – with the final nationwide tally announced on June 8th. The government of Ethiopia will announce the results on its web page.