From the Media Capital, to the Global Ethiopian Community
Thursday August 17th 2017

Ethiopia opposition to appeal new poll rejection

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) — Ethiopia’s main opposition bloc will lodge a court appeal on Monday to contest an electoral body rejection of calls for a re-run of parliamentary polls, a senior official told AFP.

Medrek has claimed the May 23 vote was riddled with fraud and complained that its observers and supporters were subject to intimidation, but its bid for a re-run was subsequently turned down for lack of evidence.

“We have come to a decision, we are going to the supreme court on Monday to fight against the unjust decision of the National Electoral Board,” vice chairman Merara Gudina told AFP.

“We have identified the several pitfalls but our evidences were met by total dismissal,” he added.

Merara had previously accused the body of bias saying their rejection “shows their full implication”.

Three other parties have also rejected the results and called for new polls over similar complaints.

An expert told AFP Medrek’s appeal is “likely to be a long and drawn-out process that will end up in their defeat”.

Provisional results from the vote saw longstanding Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front win 499 seats, in results from 536 constituencies.

The vast Horn of Africa nation has a 547-seat lower house and final results are to be released on June 21.

Meles, who has led Ethiopia since 1991, had been widely expected to win in the face of a weak opposition and after months of what rights groups described as shrinking political freedoms.

Both the European Union observer mission and the United States have said the polls did not meet international standards.

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