Sunday, May 23, 2010

Elections Without Democracy in Ethiopia?

Ethiopians have recently finished voting at the electoral polls in a parliamentary election that was widely held as a test of the country's multiparty democracy. Despite ethnic violence, conflicts with neighboring Somalia and Eritrea and accusations of political repression, the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front and Menes Zelawi, the current prime minister, are expected to win big in the election. Zelawi is one of the U.S.'s closest allies in the 'War on Terrorism'. In keeping with the norm of African elections, the ballot box will not likely deliver any sweeping political changes internally or in foreign relations.

Was the election a sign of internal political legitimacy for the EPRD and continuity?

Opposition parties are claiming foul play but the alternatives are either addressing grievances through the courts or violent confrontation with the ruling party. Have things become some bad here that a peaceful but flawed election is the most one can hope for? As usual Al Jazeera has had great coverage of the electoral proceedings and their implications.

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