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Ruling Party in Ethiopia Wins Vote

June 16, 2000

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) _ In Ethiopia’s second multiparty elections, the ruling party has won a landslide electoral victory in the country’s four key regions, the election board said Friday.

The official announcement of the results from the May 14 elections for federal parliament and eight regional assemblies was postponed for eight days during which the National Election Board held meetings to discuss and rule on reports of voting irregularities in a number of districts.

The board said the four-party Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front won 98 percent of the federal parliament seats allotted to the northern Tigray region and three large regional states.

Tigray, Amhara, Oromiya and Southern Ethiopia account for 477 of the 548 seats in the federal parliament.

The four parties that make up the ruling EPRDF also won from 97 percent to 100 percent of the assembly seats in their four regions.

A week after the vote, eight opposition parties issued a joint statement alleging widespread rigging and other irregularities and demanded that the elections be held again.

The elections board did not directly reply to the allegations by the opposition parties, but it has examined and ruled on a number of reports on vote rigging and other irregularities.

No international observers were invited to monitor the elections, and opposition party members in the Southern Ethiopia region said at least five people were killed by police in election-related violence.

The Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, the key party in the coalition, won all 38 seats of the Tigray regional assembly.

The Amhara Nation Democratic Movement, the other important party in the coalition, won 97 percent of the 138 federal parliamentary seats for its region as well as 97 percent of the 294 seats in its regional assembly.

The fourth coalition member, the Southern Ethiopia People’s Democratic Front, won similar victories for federal parliament and regional assembly. But voting in 15 of the region’s constituencies was declared null after widespread rigging and other irregularities. Voters there will go to the polls again next month.

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