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Calling New Election

The Reign of Museveni in Uganda prolongs for 3 decades…

Yoweri Museveni Uganda’s longtime president reconfirms his domino by wining 68 per cent of votes in Friday’s poll, allowing him to extend his 25-year hold on power. The Election Commission of Uganda declared that the main challenger Kizza Besigye took 26 per cent of the vote, but the top opposition leader alleged the election was fraudulent and rejected the results for the third time.

Political power conquered through the barrel a gun has never been relinquished   by democratic process.  Museveni once insurgent commander who seized power at the head of a guerrilla army in 1986, used to  criticize African rulers who clung to power has now confirmed the rest of the international rebels who took power in Asia( China, Vietnam, Cambodia), Africa ( Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Angola, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Latin America(Cuba Nicaragua won back by election). Thus to this day, from Ethiopia down to Rwanda, Zimbabwe passing Angola, Armed Liberation Front leaders are still in power, aided by powerful armies and a ruthless readiness to use violence once they fought for. Democracy has reached in some African nations those received independence through colonial pacts since the fall of the Iron curtain. From Countries which conquered their liberty under the barrel of the gun, very few could be mention who saw the light of democracy:  Tanzania, South Africa-Namibia; others are suffering under authoritarian leaders who have clung to power.

Musevini’s opponent was personal doctor and a long time comrade in struggle Mr. Besigye has previously threatened Egypt-style protest, but on Sunday, he declared that he was still considering other options. But on Sunday, Mr. Besigye pledged to work “to bring an end to the illegitimate government.”

But he stopped short of calling for street protests. Mr. Museveni said last week he would jail anyone who tried to spark Egypt-style unrest.

Mr. Besigye said widespread bribery, ballot-stuffing and harassment rendered the poll illegitimate.

“[We] reject the outcome of the elections,” Mr. Besigye said Sunday. “[We] reject the leadership of Mr. Yoweri Museveni.”

Foreign election observers said that there had been serious flaws with the voting process and the campaign. They said state resources were used to skew the elections in Mr. Museveni’s favor.

“The power of incumbency was exercised to such an extent as to compromise severely the level playing field between the competing candidates,” said Edward Scicluna, head of the European Union monitoring mission.

While previous election campaigns were marred by violence against opposition candidates, observers say Mr. Museveni allowed opposition candidates a freer hand to campaign this year, following the example of Melese Zenawie of Ethiopia assuring his post in advance.

The Ugandan voters went to the ballot boxes on Friday knowing there is little chance of a defeat for President Yoweri Museveni. Uganda’s opposition leaders have warned of Egypt-inspired revolts in the streets if the election is rigged, but analysts don’t expect them to make a dent in the rule of Mr. Museveni, a former general who maintains a strong grip on the army.

Many commentators believe that the people-power revolutions of North Africa will not spread to the rest of Africa. They dare to confirm that the Revolution is often a luxury of an educated middle class, and much of Africa is too rural and too poor to sustain a national uprising.  But such type of analysis   seems short of memory and very reductionist when it comes to sub Saharan Africa.  They forgot Ethiopia of 1974 predominately peasant society brought down half a century old Dynasty from power. The same was with Uganda and Ruanda the revolt started in the cities and went to the country side and started armed struggle with farmers and other Ethnic groups.

The other factor very often cited is African technological factor, that the Internet access is still relatively low in most of Africa. In 1960’ Kenya revolt of the Mao Mao did not need any kind of technological support to execute such in human massacre, and that of Congo rebellion led by Patrice Lumba had no other communication means but mouth to the ear but threw the Belgium out.  The other stereotype is that ethnic and religious divisions considered as a huge obstacle to the organization of national protests. They forget the inverse is also true that ethnicity has been a base of organization as we have seen in liberation struggle in 1960 against the one and the same enemy unjust domination of any kind internal or external. If we take for example the subjugation by a minority in power the rest of the majority groups could create a solidarity which surpasses ethic cleavage   as seen in the past for liberation struggles all over Africa. Today its seems the minority in power will further t sustain power without baying out the  majority which are enrolled  in the army belongs to other tribes men like  in Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia… but not for long.

Except Algeria the Arab world came to independence with a colonial pact followed by free officers military coup e.g., Libya, Egypt, Syrian mid 50’s.  In 1960’w Africa was going to liberation struggle while these countries were under military rule after reversing the Kingship put in place by leaving colonial powers.  The new Social Media Protests in the Arab world is the first revolution they are going though in their post independence period. Africa must go through its Social Media revolution to get out of the genocidal dictators reigning starting from Ethiopia down to Angola….

Yoweri Museveni Uganda’s longtime president reconfirms his domino by wining 68 per cent of votes in Friday’s poll, allowing him to extend his 25-year hold on power. The Election Commission of Uganda declared that the main challenger Kizza Besigye took 26 per cent of the vote, but the top opposition leader alleged the election was fraudulent and rejected the results for the third time.

Political power conquered through the barrel a gun has never been relinquished   by democratic process.  Museveni once insurgent commander who seized power at the head of a guerrilla army in 1986, used to  criticize African rulers who clung to power has now confirmed the rest of the international rebels who took power in Asia( China, Vietnam, Cambodia), Africa ( Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Angola, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Latin America(Cuba Nicaragua won back by election). Thus to this day, from Ethiopia down to Rwanda, Zimbabwe passing Angola, Armed Liberation Front leaders are still in power, aided by powerful armies and a ruthless readiness to use violence once they fought for. Democracy has reached in some African nations those received independence through colonial pacts since the fall of the Iron curtain. From Countries which conquered their liberty under the barrel of the gun, very few could be mention who saw the light of democracy:  Tanzania, South Africa-Namibia; others are suffering under authoritarian leaders who have clung to power.

Musevini’s opponent was personal doctor and a long time comrade in struggle Mr. Besigye has previously threatened Egypt-style protest, but on Sunday, he declared that he was still considering other options. But on Sunday, Mr. Besigye pledged to work “to bring an end to the illegitimate government.”

But he stopped short of calling for street protests. Mr. Museveni said last week he would jail anyone who tried to spark Egypt-style unrest.

Mr. Besigye said widespread bribery, ballot-stuffing and harassment rendered the poll illegitimate.

“[We] reject the outcome of the elections,” Mr. Besigye said Sunday. “[We] reject the leadership of Mr. Yoweri Museveni.”

Foreign election observers said that there had been serious flaws with the voting process and the campaign. They said state resources were used to skew the elections in Mr. Museveni’s favor.

“The power of incumbency was exercised to such an extent as to compromise severely the level playing field between the competing candidates,” said Edward Scicluna, head of the European Union monitoring mission.

While previous election campaigns were marred by violence against opposition candidates, observers say Mr. Museveni allowed opposition candidates a freer hand to campaign this year, following the example of Melese Zenawie of Ethiopia assuring his post in advance.

The Ugandan voters went to the ballot boxes on Friday knowing there is little chance of a defeat for President Yoweri Museveni. Uganda’s opposition leaders have warned of Egypt-inspired revolts in the streets if the election is rigged, but analysts don’t expect them to make a dent in the rule of Mr. Museveni, a former general who maintains a strong grip on the army.

Many commentators believe that the people-power revolutions of North Africa will not spread to the rest of Africa. They dare to confirm that the Revolution is often a luxury of an educated middle class, and much of Africa is too rural and too poor to sustain a national uprising.  But such type of analysis   seems short of memory and very reductionist when it comes to sub Saharan Africa.  They forgot Ethiopia of 1974 predominately peasant society brought down half a century old Dynasty from power. The same was with Uganda and Ruanda the revolt started in the cities and went to the country side and started armed struggle with farmers and other Ethnic groups.

The other factor very often cited is African technological factor, that the Internet access is still relatively low in most of Africa. In 1960’ Kenya revolt of the Mao Mao did not need any kind of technological support to execute such in human massacre, and that of Congo rebellion led by Patrice Lumba had no other communication means but mouth to the ear but threw the Belgium out.  The other stereotype is that ethnic and religious divisions considered as a huge obstacle to the organization of national protests. They forget the inverse is also true that ethnicity has been a base of organization as we have seen in liberation struggle in 1960 against the one and the same enemy unjust domination of any kind internal or external. If we take for example the subjugation by a minority in power the rest of the majority groups could create a solidarity which surpasses ethic cleavage   as seen in the past for liberation struggles all over Africa. Today its seems the minority in power will further t sustain power without baying out the  majority which are enrolled  in the army belongs to other tribes men like  in Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia… but not for long.

Except Algeria the Arab world came to independence with a colonial pact followed by free officers military coup e.g., Libya, Egypt, Syrian mid 50’s.  In 1960’w Africa was going to liberation struggle while these countries were under military rule after reversing the Kingship put in place by leaving colonial powers.  The new Social Media Protests in the Arab world is the first revolution they are going though in their post independence period. Africa must go through its Social Media revolution to get out of the genocidal dictators reigning starting from Ethiopia down to Angola….

ICC proved double standard & impartial, accused 6 Kenyans let Ethiopian electoral genocidal killers Run free…

Luis Moreno-Ocampo the prosecutor of ICC International Criminal Court  Charges Six Kenyan of murder, forced evictions, rape, torture and persecution. He confirmed that their actions, in more than 1,100 people being killed, 3,500 injured and more than 600,000 being displaced from their homes as far back as December 2006.  This was one year after the Ethiopian election massacre committed by Melese Zenawie’s forces but still not charged, ICC plays double standard when it comes to Ethiopia either in election or in genocide. The Ethiopian dictator has been in power for two decades by dumping votes and killing the innocent. In 2005 election the Ethiopian dictator killed 197 innocent demonstrators and jailed thousands after losing the election. He still reigns with terror and killing. He even started moving over a million inhabitants of three regions of Gambella, Ogaden and Benishengul since the inhabitants did not vote  in the last election in favor of  the dictator. For such Stalinian type mass forced inhuman deportation, the    pretext is  better services and development projects. The same method was used by the totalitarian regime of the fallen communist strong man Mengistue Haile Mariamin 1980’s.  The ecomical reason for today’s mass forced displacement in large scale is to sell their land for the international grabbers.  The Ethiopian electoral killer  Melese Zenawie stand accused of  Annuak genocide by international genocide watch  to this day , but still waiting  international arrest warrant from  Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who plays a double standard by favoring the Ethiopian killer. The Kenyan and Ethiopians blood is one and the same why to differentiate ? Such a double standard   destroys the image of such a great court of justice. The court has been accused in the past for its double standard when it comes to war crimes , but it is the first time when it comes to electoral killing in the  continent of Africa. Such impartiality made ICC  lose it’s  credibility and power vis a vis the rug dictators of  Africa.

Statement by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Kenya

ICC-CPI-20101214-PR614

As you know, tomorrow I will file two applications for summonses to appear for six individuals we believe are the most responsible for the post-election violence.

I believe summonses are sufficient to ensure the appearance of all six suspects. But as ICC Prosecutor, I am requesting that clear conditions be imposed on them, namely:

  • To frequently update the Court on all their personal contact details and whereabouts;
  • Not to make any personal contact with any of the other suspects, unless through their legal counsel to prepare their defence;
  • Not to approach any perceived victims or witnesses of crimes;
  • Not to attempt to influence or interfere with witness testimony;
  • Not to tamper with evidence or hinder the investigation;
  • Not to commit new crimes.

In addition, they must respond to all requests by ICC judges; they must attend all hearings when required, and post bond if the judges so instruct them.

These conditions are strict. They are in accordance with the Rome Statute and ICC rules.

Let me be clear.

If the suspects do not comply with the conditions set by the Chamber, I will request arrest warrants.

If there is any indication of bribes, intimidation or threats, I will request arrest warrants.

I expect the suspects to indicate to the Chamber shortly their intention to surrender voluntarily.

Statement by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Kenya

ICC-CPI-20101214-PR614

As you know, tomorrow I will file two applications for summonses to appear for six individuals we believe are the most responsible for the post-election violence.

I believe summonses are sufficient to ensure the appearance of all six suspects. But as ICC Prosecutor, I am requesting that clear conditions be imposed on them, namely:

  • To frequently update the Court on all their personal contact details and whereabouts;
  • Not to make any personal contact with any of the other suspects, unless through their legal counsel to prepare their defence;
  • Not to approach any perceived victims or witnesses of crimes;
  • Not to attempt to influence or interfere with witness testimony;
  • Not to tamper with evidence or hinder the investigation;
  • Not to commit new crimes.

In addition, they must respond to all requests by ICC judges; they must attend all hearings when required, and post bond if the judges so instruct them.

These conditions are strict. They are in accordance with the Rome Statute and ICC rules.

Let me be clear.

If the suspects do not comply with the conditions set by the Chamber, I will request arrest warrants.

If there is any indication of bribes, intimidation or threats, I will request arrest warrants.

I expect the suspects to indicate to the Chamber shortly their intention to surrender voluntarily.

Source: Office of the Prosecutor

Kenya’s post election violence: ICC Prosecutor presents cases against six individuals for crimes against humanity

ICC-OTP-20101215-PR615

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo today requested the International Criminal Court to issue summonses to appear against six Kenyan citizens to face justice for massive crimes committed during the post-election violence (PEV) in Kenya.

The Prosecutor has concluded there are reasonable grounds to believe crimes against humanity were committed, in the first Prosecution case, by:

1. William Samoei Ruto – currently: Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology (suspended), MP for Eldoret North and during the PEV, MP for Eldoret North. The Prosecution considers that he was one of the principal planners and organizers of crimes against PNU supporters;

2. Henry Kiprono Kosgey – currently: Minister of Industrialization, MP for Tinderet Constituency, ODM Chairman and during the PEV: MP for Tinderet. The Prosecution considers that he was one of the principal planners and organizers of crimes against PNU supporters; and

3. Joshua Arap Sang – currently Head of Operations, KASS FM and during the PEV: Radio broadcaster. The Prosecution considers that he was one of the principal planners and organizers of crimes against PNU supporters.

And in the second Prosecution case, by:

4. Francis Kirimi Muthaura – during the PEV and to date: Head of the Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet and Chairman of the National Security Advisory Committee. The Prosecution considers that he authorized the Police to use excessive force against ODM supporters and to facilitate attacks against ODM supporters.

5. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta – currently: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. The Prosecution considers that during the PEV he helped to mobilize the Mungiki criminal organization to attack ODM supporters; and

6. Mohamed Hussein Ali – currently: Chief Executive of the Postal Corporation of Kenya and during the PEV he was Commissioner of the Kenya Police. The Prosecution considers that during the PEV he authorized the use of excessive force against ODM supporters and facilitated attacks against ODM supporters.

“The post election period of 2007-2008 was one of the most violent periods of the nation’s history,” said the Prosecutor.

The post election attacks left more than 1, 100 people dead, 3,500 injured and up to 600, 000 forcibly displaced. During 60 days of violence, there were hundreds of rapes, possibly more, and over 100, 000 properties were destroyed in six of Kenya’s eight provinces.

“These were not just crimes against innocent Kenyans”, said Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo. “They were crimes against humanity as a whole. By breaking the cycle of impunity for massive crimes, victims and their families can have justice. And Kenyans can pave the way to peaceful elections in 2012.”

The judges of Pre-Trial Chamber II will now review the evidence. If they determine that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the six persons named committed the alleged crimes, they will decide on the most appropriate way to ensure their appearance in Court. The Prosecution has requested Summonses to Appear.

15.12.2010 – Prosecutor’s Application Pursuant to Article 58 as to William Samoei Ruto, Henry Kiprono Kosgey and Joshua Arap Sang

15.12.2010 – Prosecutor’s Application Pursuant to Article 58 as to Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Mohammed Hussein Ali

Summary of the Application

1. As early as December 2006, WILLIAM SAMOEI RUTO (“RUTO”) and HENRY KIPRONO KOSGEY (“KOSGEY”), prominent leaders of the Orange Democratic Movement (“ODM”) political party, began preparing a criminal plan to attack those identified as supporters of the Party of National Unity (“PNU”).[1]JOSHUA ARAP SANG (“SANG”), a prominent ODM supporter, was a crucial part of the plan, using his radio program to collect supporters and provide signals to members of the plan on when and where to attack. RUTO, KOSGEY and SANG coordinated a series of actors and institutions to establish a network, using it to implement an organizational policy to commit crimes. Their two goals were: (1) gain power in the Rift Valley Province, (“Rift Valley”) and in Kenya Central Government, (2) punish and expel from the Rift Valley those perceived to support PNU (collectively referred to as “PNU supporters”).

2. Kenyans voted in the presidential election on 27 December 2007. On 30 December 2007, the Electoral Commission of Kenya declared that Mwai Kibaki, presidential candidate for the PNU had won the election. The announcement triggered one of the most violent periods in Kenya’s history. The Prosecution will present some of the incidents, identifying those who are most responsible.

3. Thousands of members of the network (“perpetrators”) cultivated by RUTO, KOSGEY and SANG began to execute their plan by attacking PNU supporters immediately after the announcement of the presidential election results on 30 December 2007. On 30-31 December 2007, they began attacks in target locations including Turbo town, the greater Eldoret area (Huruma, Kimumu, Langas, and Yamumbi), Kapsabet town, and Nandi Hills town. They approached each location from all directions, burning down PNU supporters’ homes and businesses, killing civilians, and systematically driving them from their homes. On 1 January 2008, the church located on the Kiambaa farm cooperative was attacked and burned with more than hundred people inside. At least 17 people died. The brunt of the attacks continued into the first week of January 2008.

4. All identified attacks occurred in a uniform fashion. Perpetrators gathered at designated meeting points outside of locations selected for attack. There, they met Coordinators, who organized the perpetrators into groups with assigned tasks. Perpetrators then attacked target locations. Some perpetrators approached on foot, while others were driven or in trucks, previously arranged. SANG helped coordinate the attacks using coded language disseminated through radio broadcasts.

5. In response to RUTO, KOSGEY and SANG’s planned attacks on PNU supporters, as well as to deal with protests organized by the ODM, prominent PNU members and/or Government of Kenya officials Francis Kirimi MUTHAURA (“MUTHAURA”), Uhuru Muigai KENYATTA (“KENYATTA”), and Mohammed Hussein ALI (“ALI”) developed and executed a plan to attack perceived ODM supporters in order to keep the PNU in power.

6. First, under the authority of the National Security Advisory Committee, of which MUTHAURA and ALI were Chairman and a member, respectively, the Kenya Police in joint operations with the Administration Police (“Kenyan Police Forces”) were deployed into ODM strongholds where they used excessive force against civilian protesters in Kisumu (Kisumu District, Nyanza Province) and in Kibera (Kibera Division, Nairobi Province). As a consequence, between the end of December 2007 and the middle of January 2008, the Kenyan Police Forces indiscriminately shot at and killed more than a hundred ODM supporters in Kisumu and Kibera.

7. Second, MUTHAURA, KENYATTA and ALI also developed a different tactic to retaliate against the attacks on PNU supporters. On or about 3 January 2008, KENYATTA, as the focal point between the PNU and the criminal organization the Mungiki, facilitated a meeting with MUTHAURA, a senior Government of Kenya official, and Mungiki leaders to organize retaliatory attacks against civilian supporters of the ODM. Thereafter, MUTHAURA, in his capacity as Chairman of the National Security Advisory Committee (“NSAC”), telephoned ALI, his subordinate as head of the Kenya Police, and instructed ALI not to interfere with the movement of pro-PNU youth, including the Mungiki. KENYATTA additionally instructed the Mungiki leaders to attend a second meeting on the same day to finalize logistical and financial arrangements for the retaliatory attacks.

8. As a consequence, the Mungiki and pro-PNU youth attacked ODM civilian supporters in Nakuru (Nakuru District, Rift Valley Province) and Naivasha (Naivasha District, Rift Valley Province) during the last week of January 2008. During these attacks, the attackers identified ODM supporters by going from door to door and by setting up road blocks for intercepting vehicles, killing over 150 ODM supporters.

9. The violence resulted in more than 1,100 people dead, 3,500 injured, approximately 600,000 victims of forcible displacement, at least hundreds of victims of rape and sexual violence and more than 100,000 properties destroyed in six out of eight of Kenya’s provinces. Many women and girls perceived as supporting the ODM were raped.


[1] This is a coalition of parties including the Kenya African National Union (KANU), Ford-Kenya, Ford-People, Democratic Party and the National Alliance Party of Kenya.

Source: Office of the Prosecutor

————————

says that Mr Sang used his radio program  to collect supporters and provide signals to members of the plan on when and where to attack.

“Their two goals were:

(1) to gain power in the Rift Valley Province and ultimately in the Republic of Kenya, and

(2) to punish and expel from the Rift Valley those perceived to support the PNU,” Mr Moreno-Ocampo’s application says.

Immediately after President Kibaki was announced as the winner of the 2007 presidential election, Mr Moreno-Ocampo adds, thousands of members of the network put together by the three accused began to execute their plan by attacking PNU supporters.

He states that on December 30 and 31, they attacked several locations including Turbo Town, the greater Eldoret area (Huruma, Kimumu, Langas, and Yamumbi), Kapsabet Town, and Nandi Hills Town.

“They approached each location from all directions, burning down PNU supporters’ homes and businesses, killing civilians, and systematically driving them from their homes,” the application reads.

The three are accused of coordinating the burning of the Kiambaa church where at least 17 people died.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo says in his application that all the attacks occurred in a uniform fashion. The perpetrators gathered at designated meeting points outside of locations selected for attack, he says.

“There, they met coordinators, who organised the perpetrators into groups with assigned tasks. Perpetrators then attacked target locations. Some perpetrators approached on foot, while others were driven in trucks,” the prosecutor says.

He adds that Mr Sang helped coordinate the attacks using coded language disseminated through radio broadcasts.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo says that in response to the attacks by the three “prominent PNU members and/or Government of Kenya officials Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Mohammed Hussein Ali developed and executed a plan to attack perceived ODM supporters in order to keep the PNU in power.”

He accuses the National Security Advisory Committee, which was chaired by Mr Muthaura and where Mr Ali was a member, of authorising and deploying the police into ODM strongholds.

During the operation, he adds, the officers used excessive force against civilian protesters in Kisumu and in Kibera, Nairobi.

“As a consequence, between the end of December 2007 and the middle of January 2008, the Kenyan Police Forces indiscriminately shot at and killed more than a hundred ODM supporters in Kisumu and Kibera,” the application reads.

The three are also accused of developing a different tactic to retaliate against the attacks on PNU supporters.

The application says that on or about January 3, 2008 Mr Kenyatta, as the focal point between the PNU and the Mungiki criminal organisation, facilitated a meeting with Mr Muthaura and Mungiki leaders to organise retaliatory attacks against civilian supporters of the ODM.

“Thereafter, Mr Muthaura, in his capacity as Chairman of the National Security Advisory Committee, telephoned Mr Ali, his subordinate as head of the Kenya Police, and instructed Mr Ali not to interfere with the movement of pro-PNU youths, including the Mungiki,” reads the application.

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“Complicity with a dictator never pays?”:- Critical reading of EU Report on Ethiopian Election

The European Union gave its report on Monday after delaying over 7 months. This slow movement to publish the report is seen as to lull the dictator Melese Zenawie regime and to have all the elements to its side as the proverbs says «One who laughs last laughs the best”. In the end it fire back on the reporter, Mr. Thijs Berman, a member of the European Parliament and head of Ethiopian election observer mission from Belgium.  He recently complained that his team was denied a visa by ‘unhappy’ Ethiopian authorities. The mission was supposed to officially submit its report to Ethiopian Government in Addis Ababa. However, Addis authorities are furious about the report which they have infiltrated to know the content were prouder to humiliate him by denying visa to Ethiopia where he was supposed to declare the report.

Melese Zenawie the outrageous dictator of Ethiopia who controls all power in country and heads the   Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), rugged and won 99.6 per cent in May this year election. He thought he got the European Union observer Mr. Berman under his rug. The final report he succeeded to drag it over 7 months in contradiction to 5 years earlier election EU Reporter Mrs. Ana Gonzales in 2005 did not fall under the charm of Zenawie.    Mr. Thijs Berman did not hit the Iron when it is hot as his collage Gonzales. You never make complicity with a murderous dictator like Zenawie. The Reporter would have made his report like everybody else 7 month ago. Any way late is better than never.

The long waited compromised report of the EU declared that the Ethiopia’s national elections in May were flawed. It says the electoral process was short of international standards concerning transparency, and that state resources were used in the ruling party’s campaign. The late report further affirmed that Opposition candidates also feared the consequences of their political activities.

It is the Human Rights Watch on Monday who gave the courage to  Mr. Thijs Berman  that  the long held report to come out  and  declare that  the    Ethiopia has systematically clamped down on its citizens’ right to cast ballots freely, and the government’s overwhelming victory shows how little Ethiopia allows dissent.

The whole world has seen  the electoral  game  that  the Ethiopian  electoral  field was  balanced in favor of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and allied parties won all but two of the 547 seats in parliament,  but this out right truth   took Mr. Berman to declare over  7 months.

Mr. Berman after reading the Human right watch report recognized that the local administrations that are almost entirely controlled by the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front should in future have a reduced role in elections to make the process fairer if Melese did not control more than 99 percent of local administrations in the country.

Mr. Berman presented his report in Brussels after observers failed to get permission to deliver the report in Addis Ababa, said Thijs Berman, a Dutch member of the European Parliament who led a team to the Horn of Africa country in May. He declared that he had “no idea” why the report wasn’t presented in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian ruling Party EPRDF used a combination of harassment and arrests and withholding food aid and jobs to thwart the oppositions ahead of the election, Human Rights Watch, a New York- based advocacy group, said in a March 24 report entitled “One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure.”

The EU reporter saw in front of their eyes that the dictatorial regime’s   ruling party alliance won all but four of the 1,904 seats for the regional state councils in this year’s elections.

The late report was late to recognize  that  the  “Changes to the legal framework and the fragmentation, imprisonment and exile of opposition figures following disputed elections in 2005 have made it difficult for opponents of the ruling party to operate  freely in Ethiopia.”

The EU reporter which did not hit the Iron when it was  hot prefer to harness it seven month later,   declared that “the EPRDF used state resources to fund its campaign and reporting by state media ahead of the vote was biased in favor the ruling party. Freedom of assembly was sometimes not respected for opposition parties, and the volume of complaints of intimidation against the ruling party, local administrations and police was a matter of concern.”

Prof. Muse Tegegne

EU Election Observation Mission to Ethiopia 2010 PDF

Melese Zenawie Bought Vote by Food Aid in 2010 and in 1990’s came to Power by Band Aid Complicity

Melese Zenawie the genocidal dictator of Ethiopia came to power in 1991 baying arms with the money collected by Band Aid in mid 80’s. In 2010 he used famine aid money to intimidate the voters to maintain his power for life. Read here under how Band Aid tried to justify how he makes million on the back of million Ethiopian Dry Bones making discs. Bob Guldof and his group must face international investigation on his complicity with African dictator to suppress the famines. Surely he will face the international court of justice with his complicit Melese Zenawie.

Since a criminal comes back on his crime scene, Melse and Bob Guldof continue cheating the whole world. One keeps his powers the other continuing his so called “Band Aid “to perpetuate the starving millions in misery. His disc was in bankrupt in mid 80′ when band Aid ingeniously saved him rather than the dying millions supposedly helped.

Ethiopia uses aid to bribe voters – Human Rights Watch

Ethiopia: Donor Aid Supports Repression

(London) – The Ethiopian government is using development aid to suppress political dissent by conditioning access to essential government programs on support for the ruling party, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Human Rights Watch urged foreign donors to ensure that their aid is used in an accountable and transparent manner and does not support political repression.2008_Ethiopia_AidList.jpg

The 105-page report, “Development without Freedom: How Aid Underwrites Repression in Ethiopia,” documents the ways in which the Ethiopian government uses donor-supported resources and aid as a tool to consolidate the power of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

“The Ethiopian government is routinely using access to aid as a weapon to control people and crush dissent,” said Rona Peligal, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “If you don’t play the ruling party’s game, you get shut out. Yet foreign donors are rewarding this behavior with ever-larger sums of development aid.”

Ethiopia is one of the world’s largest recipients of development aid, more than US$3 billion in 2008 alone. The World Bank and donor nations provide direct support to district governments in Ethiopia for basic services such as health, education, agriculture, and water, and support a “food-for-work” program for some of the country’s poorest people. The European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany are the largest bilateral donors.

Local officials routinely deny government support to opposition supporters and civil society activists, including rural residents in desperate need of food aid. Foreign aid-funded “capacity-building” programs to improve skills that would aid the country’s development are used by the government to indoctrinate school children in party ideology, intimidate teachers, and purge the civil service of people with independent political views.

Political repression was particularly pronounced during the period leading up to parliamentary elections in May 2010, in which the ruling party won 99.6 percent of the seats.

The Ethiopian government is routinely using access to aid as a weapon to control people and crush dissent. If you don’t play the ruling party’s game, you get shut out. Yet foreign donors are rewarding this behavior with ever-larger sums of development aid.(Rona Peligal, Africa director at Human Rights Watch)

Despite government restrictions that make independent research difficult, Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 200 people in 53 villages across three regions of the country during a six-month investigation in 2009. The problems Human Rights Watch found were widespread: residents reported discrimination in many locations.

Farmers described being denied access to agricultural assistance, micro-loans, seeds, and fertilizers because they did not support the ruling party. As one farmer in Amhara region told Human Rights Watch, “[Village] leaders have publicly declared that they will single out opposition members, and those identified as such will be denied ‘privileges.’ By that they mean that access to fertilizers, ‘safety net’ and even emergency aid will be denied.”

Rural villagers reported that many families of opposition members were barred from participation in the food-for-work or “safety net” program, which supports 7 million of Ethiopia’s most vulnerable citizens. Scores of opposition members who were denied services by local officials throughout the country reported the same response from ruling party and government officials when they complained: “Ask your own party for help.”

Human Rights Watch also documented how high school students, teachers, and civil servants were forced to attend indoctrination sessions on ruling party ideology as part of the capacity-building program funded by foreign governments. Attendees at training sessions reported that they were intimidated and threatened if they did not join the ruling party. Superiors told teachers that ruling party membership was a condition for promotion and training opportunities. Education, especially schools and teacher training, is also heavily supported by donor funds.

“By dominating government at all levels, the ruling party controls all the aid programs,” Peligal said. “Without effective, independent monitoring, international aid will continue to be abused to consolidate a repressive single-party state.”

In 2005, the World Bank and other donors suspended direct budget support to the Ethiopian government following a post-election crackdown on demonstrators that left 200 people dead, 30,000 detained, and dozens of opposition leaders in jail. At the time, donors expressed fears of “political capture” of donor funds by the ruling party.

Yet aid was soon resumed under a new program, “Protection of Basic Services,” that channeled money directly to district governments. These district governments, like the federal administration, are under ruling party control, yet are harder to monitor and more directly involved in day-to-day repression of the population.

During this period the Ethiopian government has steadily closed political space, harassed independent journalists and civil society activists into silence or exile, and violated the rights to freedom of association and expression. A new law on civil society activity, passed in 2009, bars nongovernmental organizations from working on issues related to human rights, good governance, and conflict resolution if they receive more than 10 percent of their funding from foreign sources.

“The few independent organizations that monitored human rights have been eviscerated by government harassment and a pernicious new civil society law,” Peligal said. “But these groups are badly needed to ensure aid is not misused.”

As Ethiopia’s human rights situation has worsened, donors have ramped up assistance. Between 2004 and 2008, international development aid to Ethiopia doubled. According to Ethiopian government data, the country is making strong progress on reducing poverty, and donors are pleased to support Ethiopia’s progress toward the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Yet the price of that progress has been high.

When Human Rights Watch presented its findings to donor officials, many privately acknowledged the worsening human rights situation and the ruling party’s growing authoritarian rule. Donor officials from a dozen Western government agencies told Human Rights Watch that they were aware of allegations that donor-supported programs were being used for political repression, but they had no way of knowing the extent of such abuse. In Ethiopia, most monitoring of donor programs is a joint effort alongside Ethiopian government officials.

Yet few donors have been willing to raise their concerns publicly over the possible misuse of their taxpayers’ funds. In a desk study and an official response to Human Rights Watch, the donor consortium Development Assistance Group stated that their monitoring mechanisms showed that their programs were working well and that aid was not being “distorted.” But no donors have carried out credible, independent investigations into the problem.

Human Rights Watch called on donor country legislatures and audit institutions to examine development aid to Ethiopia to ensure that it is not supporting political repression.

“In their eagerness to show progress in Ethiopia, aid officials are shutting their eyes to the repression lurking behind the official statistics,” Peligal said. “Donors who finance the Ethiopian state need to wake up to the fact that some of their aid is contributing to human rights abuses.”

Background
Led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the ruling party is a coalition of ethnic-based groups that came to power in 1991 after ousting the military government of Mengistu Haile Mariam. The government passed a new constitution in 1994 that incorporated fundamental human rights standards, but in practice many of these freedoms have been increasingly restricted during its 19 years in power.

Although the ruling party introduced multiparty elections soon after it came to power in 1991, opposition political parties have faced serious obstruction to their efforts to establish offices, organize, and campaign in national and local elections.

Eight-five percent of Ethiopia’s population live in rural areas and, each year, 10 to 20 percent rely on international food relief to survive. Foreign development assistance to Ethiopia has steadily increased since the 1990s, with a temporary plateau during the two-year border war with Eritrea (1998-2000). Ethiopia is now the largest recipient of World Bank funds and foreign aid in Africa.

In 2008, total aid was US$3.3 billion. Of that, the United States contributes around $800 million, much of it in humanitarian and food aid; the European Union contributes $400 million; and the United Kingdom provides $300 million. Ethiopia is widely considered to be making good progress toward some of the UN Millennium Development Goals on reducing poverty, but much of the data originates with the government and is not independently verified.

Quotes from the Report

“There are micro-loans, which everybody goes to take out, but it is very difficult for us, [opposition] members. They say, ‘This is not from your government, it is from the government you hate. Why do you expect something from the government that you hate?'”

– A farmer from  southern Ethiopia

“Yesterday in fact the kebele [village] chairman said to me, ‘You are suffering so many problems, why don’t you write a letter of regret and join the ruling party?'”

– A farmer with a starving child from  southern Ethiopia, denied participation in the safety net food-for-work program”The safety net is used to buy loyalty to the ruling party. That is money that comes from abroad. Democracy is being compromised by money that comes from abroad. Do those people who send the money know what it is being used for? Let them know that it is being used against democracy.”

– A farmer from Amhara region”It is clear that our money is being moved into political brainwashing.”

– Consultant to a major donor, Addis Ababa”Intimidation is all over, in every area. There is politicization of housing, business, education, agriculture. Many of the people are forced or compromised to join the party because of safety net and so on, many do not have a choice – it is imposed.”

– Western donor official, Addis Ababa”Every tool at their disposal – fertilizer, loans, safety net – is being used to crush the opposition. We know this.”

– Senior Western donor official, Addis Ababa”Which state are we building and how? It could be that we are building the capacity of the state to control and repress.”

– World Bank staff member, Addis Ababa

Ethiopia used aid to bribe voters – Human Right Wach

Aid was denied to those known who belong to opposition parties, Human Rights Watch found

Ethiopia’s government has been withholding foreign aid from opposition supporters, Human Rights Watch says.

Its report urged donors to ensure their aid was distributed transparently.

Ethiopia is one of the world’s largest recipient of development aid – in 2008 international donations to the country totalled $3bn (£1.8bn).

Its government has not yet commented on the report but has rejected similar accusations in the past as “ridiculous and outrageous”.

BBC East Africa correspondent Will Ross says this leaves donors in a dilemma because they are reluctant to turn off the taps as they feel this would reverse the gains.

In May, Ethiopia’s governing party trounced the opposition in elections – only one opposition MP was elected in the 536-seat parliament.

In contrast, the opposition won more than 170 seats and swept the board in the capital, Addis Ababa in the previous election, in 2005.

However, they said they had been cheated of victory and organised street protests.

Nearly 200 opposition supporters and several policemen were killed and a comprehensive crackdown on the opposition followed, with politicians and supporters jailed.

Many analysts suggest the muzzling of the opposition was a major factor behind the governing party’s sweep to victory in May.

Our correspondent says the government has worked hard to deliver services to the population.

But Human Rights Watch accuses the donors of focusing only on the development and ignoring the repression as they continue to pour money into the country.

“If independent NGOs were allowed to work, civil society was allowed to play its role and international NGOs were allowed to distribute directly to Ethiopian citizens then you would cut out the pernicious role that the state is playing,” Mr Rawlence said.

He said that Ethiopia now was one of the most repressive societies in the world.

“People were very, very scared about talking to me – they would only do so in safe-houses,” he said.

Where Band Aid money goes

A new version of the Band Aid song Do They Know It’s Christmas? and a DVD of the Live Aid concert are expected to be big sellers in the festive season. Where is the money going?

No. The bottom line is at least £2.43 from each £3.99 CD single is going to charity, but it may rise to £3.53.

Record company Mercury and the Band Aid Trust say £1.83 goes straight to charity. Another 60p will be paid in VAT then refunded to the Trust by the government.

Record shops would normally keep a £1.10 slice. But most big chains – including HMV, Virgin Megastores, Woolworths, Tesco, WH Smith and Sainsbury’s – have agreed to give their profits to charity.

But it is not as simple as giving £1.10 back per CD. Shops have bought huge quantities from Mercury and need to sell enough to cover those costs before breaking even.

Only then would any profit go to charity – so the more copies sold, the more likelihood there is of shops making a profit, and the higher that amount is likely to be.

The other 46p in the £3.99 covers the record company’s essential costs – such as manufacturing, labels and distribution, which are all done by the company itself. Mercury is not making any profit from the CD.

But lots of people who would normally be paid have given their time and effort for free – from the singers and musicians themselves to PR people, artwork designers, shops that have done marketing activities and TV stations and magazines who have donated advertising space.

What about internet downloads and mobile phone ringtones?

The new version of Do They Know It’s Christmas? is being sold for £1.49 to download, or for £1.99 they will throw in the original 1984 version too.

But unlike CD singles, there is no manufacture and delivery process so almost every penny goes to charity. The same goes for ringtones, with telephone companies giving most proceeds to charity.

How much will be raised for charity?

If a million copies of the CD are sold, the total proceeds going to charity, including funds from downloads and ringtones, could be about £3m – depending on where they were bought.

What about the Live Aid DVD?

1. £1.83 - straight to Band Aid Trust charity 2. 60p - VAT to be given to charity by government 3. £1.10 Retailer's cut. How much goes to charity depends on the retailer and how many are sold 4. 46p - Record company costs eg manufacture, distribution

As with the single, the full price you pay does not go to charity – but it is impossible to say exactly how much does.

Live Aid

A DVD of the 1985 Live Aid concert has just been released

Warner Vision International won a bidding war for the rights to release the 1985 concert for the first time, paying an unspecified but “huge” sum in the millions, they say, to the Band Aid Trust.

On top of that, they are paying an “above-standard royalty rate” that will go up as sales increase.

Record shops and other retailers are taking some of their cut. They pay up to £27 per four-disc set and would normally keep the difference between that and the price fans pay. But shops are believed to be making an unspecified “fixed contribution” to charity for each DVD sold.

Internet retailers are the cheapest, selling the DVD for £27.99, with prices elsewhere rising to the recommended retail price of £39.99.

What will the charity money be used for?

The Band Aid Trust has been going since the original single was released, handing out $144m (£75m) to famine relief projects across Africa between January 1985 and November 2004.

Bob Geldof in Ethiopia in 1985

The Band Aid Trust has been funding projects in Africa since 1985,Bob Geldof in Ethiopia in 1985

Of the latest money raised, a Band Aid statement said: “These funds are distributed to various organisations that implement sustainable projects aimed at relieving poverty and hunger in Ethiopia and the surrounding area via a funding process.

“This involves inviting organisations to submit proposals to the trustees for consideration – those projects that meet the Trust’s objectives and the approval of the trustees are funded.

“The progress of each project is monitored by the trustees through the receipt of regular reports from each of the charity organisations funded.”

Ethiopian Melese “Freely” and “Proudly” manipulated the ballot as new model for African Banana Union members who applaud his election for life …. ” Read the Council of Democrats Decision “

The Double sided dictator of Ethiopia Melese Zenawie lost his credilbity if left any in the eyes the world democrats.

He thought he mastered the arts of duping the whole world, but it was he who was dumped and lost face all around the world.

-He prepared   farse  40’000 ballots, only very fews samples were oberved by African and Europen observores.

-He blocked the US and the rest of the embasies not to live the capital so he could be free to manuplate.

-He killed and beated  the oppostion members.

-He recruted each and every one in the counry side to be the member of his party if  not just to vote only for EPRDF.

– He organized  armed  gangbusters to  force  over 31 million voters to be grouped by a cell of 5 in  each and every community, village, family   in all his ethnic regions … he otherwise  menaced  to starve them  to death  not giving them work for bread program for survival …

He controlled each and every  televised debates taking the majority time for him self…

-He jemmed the international Media VOA, DW, Internet acess…

-He closed private press and throw the journalist to jail..

-He imprisoned the opposition leaders like Brtukan Mediksa and others before election to assure his victory…

– He juged many international oppositions in their absentee to death to intimidate the Diaspora…

-He silenced the univeristy students by intimidating and occupying the university illegally by his security forces… etc, etc..

– He bombed the opposition on the Northern  and esatern part of the country to intimidate  before election…

It is the organization of the African Banana Union which is  his making , who recognized his election as being  fair and free, since  his  ballot rugging  was better than theirs, and his style of mastering the arts of silencing the opposition ,  his mechanism   of completely killing the voice of the people,  his way of brutalizing  and  starving  the population of Ethiopia to death, is a new style of  african democray in order to  become a  leader for live.

Ethiopia elections: Can the EU effectively monitor? | Analysis

The Council of Community of Democrats  confirm the accusation  Melese’s regime of Fraud

Ethiopian Opposition Leaders Sentenced to Life in Prison 18 July 2007

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tiIuJhFsYo

Fraud Accusations Tarnish Ruling Party Victory in Ethiopia
June 9, 2010
By: Benjamin Russell | Printer Friendly

Results show Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s ruling Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) was the clear winner in Ethiopia’s parliamentary elections last month, despite accusations of fraud and the misuse of state funds, according to BBC News. Ethiopia’s Communications Minister Bereket Simon called the elections “free and fair,” but international observers from the EU and the United States said the contest fell well short of international standards.

Opposition parties, who gained only two of the possible 546 seats, accused the government of manipulating the electoral process in their favor. “The whole thing is a farce,” said Hailu Shawel, chairman of the All Ethiopia Unity Party. “In the countryside our observers are chased away by the militia. Our people are not allowed into the polling stations.”

EPDRF party members dismissed the allegations as an attempt to undermine the party’s rule. “We know the opposition had designed a strategy whereby they tried to tarnish the whole democratic electoral process. The facts on the ground tell everybody that this has been a competitive election…the system accommodated even extra requests by the opposition. So, one can say we have issued [a] free and fair playing ground,” said Communications Minister Bereket Simon.

Though this year’s elections were free from the political violence of previous contests, observers point out that the relative peace was more the result of careful planning by the EPDRF than of democratic progress. In 2005, a dispute over election results led to the death of 193 opposition protestors at the hands of Zenawi’s forces. This time around, the Prime Minister “closed down a number of critical newspapers, jammed Voice of America, blocked critical websites, banned all forms opposition rallies, crippled civil society organizations, and deliberately fomented divisions in the opposition camp,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Over the last 18 months, the “government has taken clear and decisive steps that would ensure that it would garner an electoral victory,” said US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson.

Despite the criticism, Ethiopia is likely to remain an important US ally in the fight against Islamic extremism. According to Nathaniel Myers of Foreign Policy, Ethiopia receives more foreign US aid than any country in sub-Saharan Africa and is an important source of stability in the region. “Wary of alienating Meles, the Obama administration has publicly criticized only the Ethiopian leader’s most blatant assaults on democracy. And indeed, with the failure to permanently reduce aid budgets following the 2005 violence, the West lost its trump card. At the end of the day, Meles knows that the United States and his other foreign friends can’t afford to back out,” said Myers.

Sources:

VOA News – Ethiopia Election Seen as ‘Free and Fair’ by Government Official

NY Times – Ethiopian Party Accused of Intimidation before Election

Foreign Policy – Ethiopia’s Democratic Sham

BBC News – EU Observers Say Ethiopia Election ‘Falls Short’

Wall Street Journal – Ethiopia’s Embarrassing Elections

Community of Democracies

Invigorated by the belief that the time had come in the year 2000 to establish a global network of democratic countries with the principal aim of fortifying democratic governance everywhere, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Bronisław Geremek convened the first Ministerial of the Community of Democracies (CD) in Warsaw. With delegates representing 106 democratic and democratizing countries in attendance, the Community of Democracies was established with the adoption of the Warsaw Declaration, committing CD governments to a multilateral framework of cooperation to advance democratic norms and to work in concert to support and deepen democracy worldwide.

United States House of Representatives Passes Resolution Commending the Community of Democracies

On May 12, 2010, United States Representative Mike Quigley, of Illinois, introduced a resolution to the United States House of Representatives entitled “Commending the Community of Democracies for its achievements since it was founded in 2000.” With 31 cosponsors, the resolution was passed without objection. The gathered representatives commended the CD for its ten years of work in “promoting democratic rules and
strengthening democratic institutions around the world,” as Representative Engel from New York stated in his remarks to the floor. With the High Level Democracy meeting in Krakow to commemorate the CD’s 10th Anniversary approaching in July, the resolution “endorses the Krakow conference” and “extends its best wishes … for the Community’s ongoing efforts to promote democracy worldwide.”

Read the Full Text of the Resolution Here

Guinea-Bissau’s Armed Forces Threaten Stability of Legitimate Government 9 June 2010
Government and Maoists Renew Constituent Assembly in Nepal 9 June 2010
Flag of ThailandThai PM Says Elections Must Wait 9 June 2010
Fraud Accusations Tarnish Ruling Party Victory in Ethiopia 9 June 2010
flag of kyrgyzstanInterim Kyrgyzstan Government Struggles to Regain Stability 7 June 2010
Great Lakes Policy Forum Discusses the Context and Implications of the Upcoming Rwandan Elections 7 June 2010
Flag of ivory coastCôte d’Ivoire President Says Election Preparations are Underway 3 June 2010
Flag of CubaCuba – A Way Forward Highlights Repression and Abuse, and Proposes an End to the Embargo 3 June 2010
Flag of CARCAR President’s Mandate Extended ‘Indefinitely’27 May 2010
Flag of ThailandHong Kong Legislators Hold ‘Referendum on Democracy’ 26 May 2010
Flag of GeorgiaGeorgian Lawyers Suspend Protest against Electoral System 26 May 2010
Flag of SomaliaGeorge Packer on Democracy Promotion under the Obama Presidency 24 May 2010

Calling New Election a confrontation for Melese’s new coming absolute power? Boycott would have been better than reelection demand …

EPRDF rallyEthiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi



“Addis Ababa, May 25, 2010 Ethiopian People?s Revolutionary Democratic Party (EPRDF) is leading the 4th national elections by winning 499 of the 547 federal parliamentary seats, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) Chairperson announced here late on Tuesday. In a news conference he gave here today, the Chairperson, Prof. Merga Bekana said partner parties on their part won 35 seats, according to provisional results reaching the Board. He said EPRDF won the election with a majority vote winning 499 seats. According to Prof. Merga, EPRDF won 38 seats in Tigray, 137 in Amhara, 178 in Oromia, 122 in South Ethiopia Peoples State and 22 seats in Addis Ababa. EPRDF partner parties on their part won 8 seats in Afar states, 2 seats in Benishangul Gumuz, 2 seats in Gambella State while winning 21 seats in Somali State, according to the provisional election results reaching the board. He said EPRDF won one seat in each of Harari state and Dire Dawa City Administration while its partners won the rest. Prof. Merga said Forum had won only one seat in Addis Ababa while a private contender won one seat in South Ethiopia Peoples State. He indicated that the Board has not received the result of 1 constituency from Amhara, 7 constituencies from Bensihangul Gumuz, 1 constituency from Gambella and 2 constituencies from Somali states. Prof. Merga thanked the public at large, election contending political parties, religious leaders, governmental and non-governmental organizations for helping make the 4th national elections successful, free, peaceful, fair and credible.”???

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Ethiopia opposition leaders call for new elections

Will Ross
BBC News, Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s opposition leaders have called for a rerun of Sunday’s elections, saying they were flawed.

Head of the main opposition coalition Merera Gudina said he will not accept the results, which gave Prime Minister Meles Zenawi a landslide victory.

Mr Merera says two party members were killed by security forces, reports say.Supporters of Merera Gudina at an Oromo People's Congress (OPC) rally in Ambo, May 15, 2010Merera Gudina’s supporters were hoping to make gains

The EU and US have both criticised the polls, saying they fell short of international standards. Ethiopian officials have denied fraud.

Mr Merera, chairman of the Medrek coalition of eight main opposition parties, has called for a new election.

Earlier, another opposition leader Hailu Shawel had also called for a rerun of the elections.

The opposition has complained that its election observers had been beaten and driven away from polling stations in several regions.

Meanwhile, Mr Merera has said two members of his party were shot dead by security forces in the Oromiya region in the south of Ethiopia, Reuters news agency reports.

“The government is trying to prevent protests by massively repressing the people,” he said.

But a government spokesperson claims one man was shot when he stormed an office where ballots were being counted and the other was killed in self-defence by a policeman, Reuters says.

At a victory rally on Tuesday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Mr Meles warned international observers to respect the election results, saying: “The people’s vote will not be overturned by foreign forces.”

According to the official election results, 499 out of 536 seats declared so far have been awarded to the governing party.

Medrek – which had been seen as the main challenger to Mr Zenawi’s party – has only won a single seat.

Mr Shawel says the results “don’t look real,” reports the AFP news agency.

Ethiopia’s last elections, in 2005, were marred by violent protests over alleged fraud which left about 200 people dead.

At that time, Mr Shawel was leader of the opposition coalition and was jailed, along with several other opposition leaders, for his role in the protests.

Most of those jailed were later pardoned and released, although one opposition leader remains in prison.

The BBC’s Will Ross in Ethiopia says opposition leaders risk being sent to prison if they continue their protests, since in the eyes of the Ethiopian authorities, there is a thin line between rejecting the election results and inciting violence.

Mr Shawel says he will not call on his supporters to protest, reports AFP.

Mr Meles – who has been in power since 1991 – put Sunday’s election win down to an impressive track record, especially when it comes to economic growth.

The government has worked hard to improve infrastructure, especially in the urban areas, and social services such as healthcare have become more accessible.

Hailu Shawel, who heads the All Ethiopia Unity Party, must realise that his request for a rerun of the election is highly unlikely to be granted.

His other option is via the courts.

But he knows he must tread carefully as Ethiopia’s government may not tolerate much criticism.

In the eyes of the Ethiopian authorities, there is a thin line between rejecting the result and inciting violence and so the opposition party leader risks a return to jail.