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Ruling party in Ethiopia wins parliamentary election

Ethiopia’s ruling Prosperity Party, led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, has won the sixth national election by a landslide, sweeping over 410 of the 546 parliamentary seats in the first round.

The party has swept almost all seats in the Oromia region, where it didn’t have competition after leading Oromo opposition political parties boycotted the election in protest against the arrest of their leaders and closure of their offices.

Saturday’s results, announced by the National Election Board of Ethiopia, are the final ones from all constituencies.

They did not include about a fifth of the country’s 547 parliamentary constituencies.

The ballot was postponed in some areas, including the war-ravaged Tigray region, for security reasons. In Tigray, the election schedule has not yet been set.

A second round of the vote will take place on September 6 in regions where voting didn’t happen for a number of reasons.

Previously, election board chief Birtukan Midekssa said the country was unable to hold elections in four of Ethiopia’s 10 regions, including Somali and Harari regions.

According to the electoral board,  a record 46 parties and more than 9,000 candidates took part in the election.

Many complaints

Following the June vote, opposition parties have lodged over 500 complaints with the electoral board, reporting hundreds of irregularities such as missing ballots and, in some places, intimidation and the assault of opposition observers, some who were reportedly chases away from polling stations.

More than 38 million of Ethiopia’s estimated 120 million people registered to cast their votes in a twice-delayed national election seen as a critical test for PM Abiy, who came to power in 2018.

The official results announcement session took place on Saturday evening at Skylight Hotel in the presence of some 300 invited guests including politicians, civil society representatives, diplomats and election observers.

Since the sixth national polls were conducted on June 21, the electoral board has been announcing preliminary results.

Earlier this week, the board announced the results for 53 verified parliamentary constituencies.

According to the initial results released last Monday, two opposition parties – National Movement of the Amhara (Nama) and the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (Ezema) – won only three parliamentary seats.

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