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Parlamentswahlen in Äthiopien

Parliamentary elections in Ethiopia
[journal article]

Smidt, Wolbert G.C.

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Abstract This report on the first democratic parliamentary elections in Ethiopia in 2005 briefly outlines the campaign, the election and election monitor observations, and the resulting unrest and follow-up elections. The election campaign began approximately nine months before the election and was primarily a race between the ruling Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) party, the newly formed opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), and the Union of Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF). Federalism, change, and realization of promised freedom and economic development were major themes of the campaign. Though the EPRDF declared victory, it became clear that the CUD had won a substantial number of seats in the majority of cities and in the federal parliament. The independent election observers observed electoral manipulation on both sides, though facts were difficult to substantiate, ultimately resulting in a new election in 135 districts, generating unrest, student protests, a taxi strike, and a crackdown by the administration. The most recent elections gave the EPRDF 303 seats, the CUD 123 seats, the UEDF 56 seats, with the remainder distributed between smaller parties. Despite the difficulties, the observable strengthening of legal and democratic institutions provides grounds for cautious optimism.
Keywords Ethiopia; Africa; parliamentary election; election campaign; party; democratization
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords Elections; Ethiopia; Parliamentary Systems; Political Parties
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 319-330
Journal Afrika Spectrum, 40 (2005) 2
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works