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Ethiopian Elections Showed Problems, Promise


Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front will control all but two seats in Parliament.

Ethiopia's ruling party scored a sweeping victory in that country's recent parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front will control all but two seats if the vote is confirmed.

Turnout was said to be good and voting proceeded peacefully, but as an exercise in democracy the end result was decidedly mixed. U.S. and other foreign diplomats were denied permission to leave the capital, Addis Ababa, to observe the voting.

EU international election observers noted that the elections fell short of international standards due to government controls that were in place before Election Day. Namely, civil society groups were curtailed and independent media were limited in what they could report. Foreign news sources, including the Voice of America, were blocked.

As the vote counting concludes, the United States calls on all parties to reject violence. We also encourage the government to address in good faith and impartiality any concerns and disputes that are raised.

Ethiopia and the United States have a multifaceted relationship and share a number of important interests. We will work diligently with Ethiopia to ensure that strengthened democratic institutions and open political dialogue become a reality for the Ethiopian people.

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