Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Wins Parliamentary Poll

Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has won the country’s delayed elections after results showed his party winning an overwhelming majority in the federal parliament.

Abiy‘s party won 410 of 436 parliamentary seats, election board deputy chairperson Woubshet Ayele announced Saturday in the capital Addis Ababa.

According to the board, Abiy’s prosperity gives him another five-year term in office.

Chairperson Birtukan Mideksa said the board had delivered a credible election.

In a statement on his Twitter page, Abiy described the June 21 vote as a “historically inclusive election”. According to him, “our party is also happy that it has been chosen by the will of the people to administer the country.”

The Prime Minister said the June 21 vote was the country’s first free and fair election after decades of repressive rule. However, an opposition boycott, war, ethnic violence, and logistical challenges overshadowed the election in some areas. Voting did not take place in three of Ethiopia’s 10 regions.

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Opposition leader Berhanu Nega said his Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice party (Ezema) had filed 207 complaints after local officials and militiamen blocked observers in the Amhara region and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region.

The election was the first test of voter support for Abiy, who promised political and economic reforms when he was appointed Prime Minister by the Governing coalition in 2018.

Within months of taking office, Abiy lifted a ban on opposition parties, released tens of thousands of political prisoners, and took steps to open up one of Africa’s last untapped markets.

He now faces international pressure over the war in Tigray and accusations from rights groups that his government is rolling back some new freedoms, which it denies.

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Abiy’s newly formed Prosperity Party faced a fragmented opposition of dozens of mostly ethnically-based parties. The opposition parties Ezema and the National Movement of Amhara (NAMA) each won less than 10 seats.

Voting in the Harar and Somali regions was delayed until September over security concerns and problems with ballot papers.

No date has been set for voting in Tigray, where the military has been battling forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the region’s former ruling party, since November. The fighting has displaced 2 million people, and the United Nations has warned of famine conditions in parts of the region.

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