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Sunday March 26th 2017

Ethiopian Opposition Parties Demand New Elections

Source: AHN News, Hussein Moulid – AHN News Africa Correspondent

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (AHN) – Ethiopia’s main opposition group filed a court case against the country’s National Electoral Board for refusing re-run elections.

Opposition parties won the first round battle in their attempts to challenge the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front’s (EPRDF) landslide victory in last month’s general elections.

The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) won 545 seats out of the 547 seats at the Ethiopian parliament, which led the opposition to demand for a new election.

The country’s largest opposition coalition, the eight-party Medrek won just a single seat and claimed vote rigging.

Medrek chairman Beyene Petros insisted that they provided believed documents that shown pre-poll intimidation and some vote rigging.

The All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP) referred its case with Ethiopia’s Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The Court Registrar said the opposition parties, including Medrek and the All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP), should have filed the case within five days of the elections.

The opposition complained that the elections were marred by irregularities; including the harassment of party candidates and that most of their party observers were beaten.

The National Electoral Board (BNE) officials said the opposition parties failed to provide evidence of intimidation and instead presented reports instead of providing evidence.

The EU and US have both criticised the elections, and said they fell short of international standards.

An EU report said political freedoms were restricted and criticised the ruling party’s use of state resources in its campaign.

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