Millions register for Ethiopia's May elections

2015-01-21 13:08
(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Addis Ababa - Over 12 million Ethiopians have so far registered for key polls in May, officials have said, the first national elections since the death of long-time leader Meles Zenawi.

Numbers registered for the 24 May polls have "exceeded all expectations", deputy electoral commission chief Addisu Gebregziabhier said.

Election officials are expecting up to 33 million people to register for the parliamentary polls, considered by the international community as a key test for democracy in the Horn of Africa nation. Registration opened on 9 January and runs until 19 February.

The last elections in 2010 gave a landslide victory to the ruling party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), who along with allied parties won 545 of 547 seats in the House of People's Representatives.

The main opposition parties rejected those results claiming fraud, but their appeals were turned down by the electoral board and the supreme court.

But the polls were peaceful, unlike in 2005, when opposition accusations of fraud sparked violence that left 200 people dead.

Meles, who died in 2012, was succeeded by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who has said he is committed to opening up the country's political system to allow space for opposition parties.

"It is an existential issue. If we do not have a proper multiparty democracy in this country, this country will end up like Somalia," Hailemariam told reporters last month.

But the prime minister also justified lawsuits taken against opposition leaders he accused of "links with terrorist organisations".

Several opposition parties have also complained that they have been obstructed by the electoral commission in registering for the elections.

Rights groups routinely accuse Ethiopia of clamping down on opposition supporters and journalists, using anti-terrorism laws to silence dissent and jail critics.

Read more on:    meles zenawi  |  ethiopia  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.