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Ethiopia After The Election


The final results of Ethiopia's May 15th parliamentary elections are expected to be announced July 8th. According to news reports, provisional results indicate that all three major coalitions won seats in the Parliament, but the results in two-hundred-ninety-nine out of five-hundred-twenty-four constituencies are being contested.

On June 13th, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, the Coalition for Unity and Democracy, and the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces condemned violence and reaffirmed their commitment to the successful and peaceful conclusion of the electoral process. It is essential that complaints of electoral irregularities be fully and transparently investigated. The United States expects the parties to resolve differences through the established legal mechanisms.

Tensions remain after mid-June election-related violence in many parts of the country, including thirty-six deaths in the capital. Hundreds of people detained during the protests have been released, but some are still awaiting formal charges. Those detained included investigators for the independent Ethiopian Human Rights Council. It is vital that all detained individuals receive due process of law.

Although the country appears calm now, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack warns, "Any violence or threat of violence is unacceptable":

"All sides need to step back from violence. The way to resolve questions and issues with respect to the election is to let the political process unfold.... That's what we have encouraged all sides to do."

The United States, says State Department spokesman McCormack, urges the Ethiopian government "to respect the rule of law, international principles of human rights, and due process with regard to those arrested or detained." The U.S, he says, "looks to the opposition parties to abide by the rule of law, to respect their commitment to end the violence, and to ask their followers to remain calm."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.

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