Official election results have confirmed that practically 100 percent of the vote went to the ruling EPRDF party. Opposition groups alleged the government had used authoritarian tactics to guarantee their repeat victory.
Ethiopia's ruling party was reported to have won a massive victory in the country's May 24 elections, taking 99.8 percent of the vote.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn's Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and its allies were confirmed to have taken 546 seats in parliament. The result for one seat remained officially uncertain. The previous parliament had only featured one opposition member of parliament, however, some of the election monitors had predicted that the EPRDF was likely to even take the one remaining seat in this election.
Merga Bekana, the electoral board chairman, announced the final tally, barring the one last seat:
"The election was coordinated in a free, fair, peaceful, credible and democratic manner," Merga said, adding that the turnout was 93.2 percent of the 36.8 million registered voters. Ethiopia's population is 96 million.
Fifty-nine election observers sent from the African Union said that the polls had passed off without any incident, but the opposition alleged the government had used authoritarian tactics to guarantee their repeat victory.
The EPRDF has ruled Ethiopia for 24 years. Human rights groups have long regarded the regime as one of the most repressive in Africa, saying that there was no freedom of the press, and that opposition politicians were routinely harassed, especially during electoral campaigns.
"This result was completely expected, there is no multiparty system in Ethiopia. It's just fake," said Taye Negussie, a sociology professor at Addis Ababa University.
Opposition activists have also accused the authorities of irregularities and of squeezing them out of politics during the last votes. Government officials have dismissed these charges - while critics dismissed the results.
ss/bw (dpa, Reuters, AFP)