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Another Five-Year Term for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been elected to a new five-year term based on the results on Saturday, July 10, of a landslide victory in a landmark and twice delayed parliamentary vote where the country’s ruling Prosperity Party won 410 seats out of 436.

The figures showed opposition parties and independent candidates won a small number of seats.

The results were relayed by the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) –which said there would be a rerun in 10 constituencies.

President of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde addresses the crowd during an event in Addis Ababa following the announcement.

“Given the turmoil of peace in some areas, the complexity in the politics, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and also the situation in the northern part, Tigray region.

“Even the geographical vastness and the population of our country show how huge the work was. Therefore, the board has been operating in these difficult situations.”

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed hailed the outcome of what he described as a “historic” election.

It is the first time he faced voters since being appointed prime minister in 2018 following several years of anti-government protests.

In a statement on Twitter, Abiy described it as a historically inclusive election, adding: “Our party is also happy that it has been chosen by the will of the people to administer the country.”

The winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize had hoped to frame victory at the ballot box as a mandate for political and economic reforms and military operations.

The vote was meant to affirm a promised democratic revival in Africa’s second-most populous nation, with Abiy vowing a clean break with repression that tarnished past electoral cycles.

The ruling coalition that preceded him claimed staggering majorities in 2015 and 2010 polls that observers said fell far short of international standards for fairness.

A more open contest in 2005 saw big opposition gains but led to a lethal crackdown on protests over contested results.

Although the state-affiliated Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) observed “no serious or widespread human rights violations” at election stations, voting occurred in around one-fifth of the country’s 547 constituencies due to ethnic violence or logistical issues.

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