Africa Ethiopia politician calls for probing ‘poll fraud’

Ethiopia politician calls for probing ‘poll fraud’

chairman of the Oromo Federalist Party
Merera Gudina. Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Party

(AA) – Veteran Ethiopian politician Merera Gudina has called for launching an inquiry into alleged irregularities during the latest elections.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Saturday, Merera, chairman of the Oromo Federalist Party – which is a member of the opposition Medrek coalition – said election votes were rigged and ballots “stolen”.

He said his coalition would soon write a letter to the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia to call for the establishment of an independent inquiry into the alleged violations.

The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has won the May 24 polls, snatching 442 of the 547 parliamentary seats up for grabs, according to preliminary results announced by the election commission.

The African Union Observation Mission described the electoral process as both “credible” and “peaceful”.

But Merera said his coalition would not accept the preliminary report of the African Observation Mission about the polls, accusing the pan-African body of being a “club of dictators”.

He said that the 59 African observers were far behind the number required to sufficiently observe the Ethiopian election.

“While I was campaigning in Oromia – a region for which one-third of seats is reserved in the House of Peoples’ Representatives – I never met a single AU observer,” he said.

Some 36.8 million voters were registered for the polls of which more than 90 percent are said to have cast their ballots.

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