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Ethiopian Court Rejects Election Appeal

Ethiopia's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from opposition parties demanding a re-run of the May 23 election.

The court Friday upheld an earlier decision from the National Electoral Board dismissing the opposition's request. The Board had said the parties' claims of fraud and pre-poll intimidation were unsupported by evidence.

Election results showed the ruling EPRDF coalition taking nearly all of the 547 seats in parliament. The eight-party Medrek alliance, in contrast, won just a single seat.

Opposition leaders say the government's near-total victory could not be accomplished without cheating.

Both the United States and the European Union criticized the election as falling short of international standards. Ethiopian officials said the voting was free, fair, and democratic.

The poll was Ethiopia's first national election since a disputed 2005 vote that led to violent unrest. Government security forces killed nearly 200 people while putting down demonstrations after that vote.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.