Ethiopian PM’s party wins almost all seats

The Welfare Party of incumbent Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won a large majority in the June 21 parliamentary elections. The National Election Commission announced this on Saturday.

Despite the bloody conflict in the rebellious state of Tigray, the parliamentary elections were held in Ethiopia on June 21, having been postponed twice before. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, and his Welfare Party hope to make it the most fair and democratic election ever.

But several opposition parties such as the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo Federal Congress (OFC) boycotted the elections, in part due to the arrest of candidates and vandalism of party offices. As a result, it is now not possible to vote in three federal states and in many other constituencies as well, insecurity making it impossible to go to the polls.

According to the National Elections Commission, Abi Ahmed’s party won 410 out of 436 seats. So the path to a new five-year term as prime minister is open. In his victory speech, he extended his hand to the leaders of the opposition. “These elections did not result in a winner or a loser, but rather a democracy in which one of the questions is asked and the other is held accountable,” he said.

The United Nations warned Friday that the humanitarian situation in Tigray has “significantly deteriorated” for the civilian population in recent weeks. “One of the most worrying trends is the alarming increase in food insecurity and hunger due to conflict. More than 400,000 people are starving and 1.8 million more are on the brink of starvation.”

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Denton Watson

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