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Ethiopian Elections

20 September 2005

ETHIOPIAN ELECTION SUCCESSFULLY CONCLUDED

 

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY PRAISES OUTCOME

 

 

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has announced the final results of Ethiopia’s recent elections. The results show that the ruling party has gained 327 seats, the opposition 171 and other parties 49 seats. The new parliament is to convene on 10th October, in which the ruling party is expected to form the next government that will be in power for the coming five years.

 

The election was monitored by representatives of the international community who issued their final reports recently. The following are excerpts from their reports.

 

The African Union:

 

Members of the AU Observer Team participated fully in the observation activities and submitted a comprehensive report to the AU Chairperson. In the report, issued on 14th September, they concluded that:

 

the election of 2005 and subsequent investigation processes were conducted and organized in accordance with the country’s electoral laws.. The AU wishes to commend the Ethiopian people’s display of genuine commitment to democratic ideals and urges them to accept the outcome of the results in order to build on the gains that have been recorded.”

 

 

The Carter Center:

 

The Carter Center expressed its pleasure at being invited to observe the elections. In a 15th September statement it said:

 

“The elections process demonstrated significant advances in Ethiopia's democratization process, including most importantly the introduction of a more competitive electoral process, which could potentially result in a pluralistic, multi-party political system. Ethiopians saw and understood that public policy appropriately receives debate, that public media cover multiple points of view, that voters' choices can result in the election of opposition members of parliament, and that local administration may be in the hands of a party other than the ruling party. Depending on developments in the coming months and years, the 2005 elections could potentially represent a historic sea change in attitudes toward political power and competition in Ethiopia…The Carter Center's assessment of the elections suggests that the majority of the constituency results based on the May 15 polling and tabulation are credible and reflect competitive conditions.”

 

 

The Donors’ Representatives in Ethiopia:

 

A press statement dated 13thSeptember endorsed by twenty-four representatives of the donor countries residing in Ethiopia stated:

 

“The final results of Ethiopia’s historic 2005 elections issued by the NEBE.. confirm the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front’s majority in Parliament. We welcome the efforts of all parties to bring a new era of multi-party politics to Ethiopia, and look forward to a dynamic Parliament in which the opposition has a strong voice and there is a spirit of inclusiveness and cooperation. Most of all, we congratulate the Ethiopian people for their demonstrated commitment to democracy. We urge all parties to take their seats in the National Assembly with good will and mutual respect, to express the interests and views of all Ethiopians in a vibrant multi-party Parliament. As Ethiopia's partners, we stand ready to support the development of Ethiopian democracy.”

 

 

The US Department of State:

The US State Department issued a press release on 16th September stating

“These elections stand out as a milestone in creating a new, more competitive multi-party political system in one of Africa’s largest and most important countries. Because reported election irregularities raised concerns about transparency, we will work with the international community and the Ethiopian government and parties to strengthen the electoral process. We strongly urge all the political parties to participate in the political process and to play responsible roles as the elected representatives of the Ethiopian people.. We call on all newly elected members of parliament to take their seats, and to serve under Ethiopia’s constitution.”

 

Finally, many countries and international organizations have congratulated the ruling party on its victory at the polls. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is expected to form his government in October.

ENDS

 

Background

 

Ethiopia has two federal houses of Parliament: the House of Peoples’ Representatives and the House of the Federation. The House of Peoples’ Representatives has 547 seats and its members are elected by the people for a term of five years on the basis of universal suffrage and by direct, free and fair elections held by secret ballot.

 

The third national elections took place in Ethiopia on 15th May (for 524 seats) and on 21st August (for the 23 remaining seats in the Somali region.) The results have now been announced in which the ruling party the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) secured 327 seats, the opposition parties, i.e. the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) 109, the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF) 52 and the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) 11 and other parties 49 seats in the parliament.

 

For further information contact the Ethiopian Embassy Press Office on 020 7838 3880, mobile 07717 603163




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