Ethiopia’s Supreme Court Rejects Election Appeal

Above: Ethiopia’s Supreme Court has rejected opposition
challenge against Ethiopia’s election authority. (Photo: AP)

Tadias Magazine
Election News Summary

Updated: Saturday, June 19, 2010

New York (Tadias) – Ethiopia’s High Court has rejected a petition from opposition parties against the nation’s electoral board.

“The court Friday upheld an earlier decision from the National Electoral Board dismissing the opposition’s request. The Board had said the parties’ claims of fraud and pre-poll intimidation were unsupported by evidence,” VOA reports.

Ethiopia’s biggest opposition coalition, the eight-party Medrek, filed the court appeal last week after the country’s election authority the previous week rejected its calls for a new poll after reports of irregularities surfaced in last month’s nationwide parliamentary contest.

“We have lodged this appeal because the manner in which the NEB handled our grievances was very irregular,” Medrek chairman Beyene Petros told Reuters at the time.

“We submitted an 87-page document of evidence but they never invited us to explain or to present witnesses. The rejection was a face-saving measure.”

Early results showed the ruling party sweeping 99.6 percent of announced seats. “Government officials say the ruling party’s landslide victory reflects the will of the people, while the opposition says the election was stolen,” VOA reports.

European Union observers and the U.S. government have criticized the pre-election-day process. “This electoral process falls short of certain international commitments,” said Thijs Berman, the chief EU observer, pointing to the use of state resources to campaign for the ruling party.

Secretary of State Jonnie Carson, President Obama’s top Diplomat for Africa, recently told a Congressional panel: “While the elections were calm and peaceful and largely without any kind of violence, we note with some degree of remorse that the elections there were not up to international standards.”

The aftermath of last month’s poll in Ethiopia, one of America’s key partners in the global war against terrorism, continues to be closely watched by U.S. officials, lawmakers as well as by Ethiopian-Americans.

“To the extent that Ethiopia values the relationship with the United States, then we think they should heed this very direct and strong message,” State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said. “We value the cooperation that we have with the Ethiopian government on a range of issues including regional security, including climate change for example. So we will continue to engage this government. But we will make clear that there are steps that it needs to take to improve democratic institutions.”

New York-based Human Rights Watch said the ballot had been corrupted by pre-election irregularities.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has dismissed outside criticism as foreign interference – violating the sovereignty of Ethiopia.

Here are related news:

NEW:
Spotlight on the Struggle of Birtukan Mideksa (Huffington Post)
Journalist decries ‘outrageously ludicrous’ elections (Stanford Report)
Ethiopia’s Embarrassing Elections (Wall Street Journal)
Ethiopian election stirs outrage at ruling party (Washington Times)
Ethiopia’s Ruling Party to Work with Opposition (VOA)
US says Ethiopia ties depend on electoral changes (AFP)

Video: U.S. Department Daily Press Briefing: May 26, 2010
(Forward to minute 02:10 for the Ethiopia comment)

Video: Inside Story, with presenter Mike Hanna – Zenawi: A source of stability?

Ethiopian Prime Minister Declares Victory in Election (Bloomberg)
Early results: Ethiopia’s ruling party won vote (The Associated Press)
Ethiopian Ruling Party Sweeps Preliminary Election Results (VOA)

Watch Video: A Post-Election Analysis – Al Mariam Jezeera Interview

Watch Video: Polls Open in Ethiopia Marred by Intimidation Complaints (Al Jazeera)

Related:
Premier’s Party Sweeps Ethiopian Vote (NYT)
EU: Ethiopian Election Unbalanced (VOA)
Governing Party Leads in Ethiopian Election (The New York Times)
Ethiopia’s Meles on course for landslide election win (Reuters)
Ethiopian Party Accused of Intimidation Before Election (The New York Times)
Ethiopian Election Draws Record Turnout; Opposition Charges Fraud (VOA)
Ethiopia opposition bloc claims voter intimidation (AP)
Britain ‘keeping quiet about Ethiopia repression’ (Telegraph.co.uk)

Related Pre-Election News:
VOA Video: Ethiopian Diaspora Seeks Democratic Progress in Ethiopia

Video: Interview with Meles Zenawi (Al Jazeera)

More News:
Ethiopia votes, with ruling party favored to win (AP)
An Eerie Silence Precedes Ethiopia’s Election (TIME)
Repression Is Alleged Before Vote in Ethiopia (The New York Times)
Critics Stifled in Ethiopia (Wall Street Journal)

Supporters of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles
Zenawi rally on Thursday ahead of Sunday’s
elections. (Agence France-Press/Getty)

Fairness at Issue in Ethiopian Elections (VOA)
Ethiopian Government Confident Sunday’s Polls Will be Credible (VOA)
Obama Urged to Speak Out On Ethiopia (Tadias)
Ethiopia’s ruling party poised to win election (The Associated Press)
Ethiopia tackles ghosts of elections past (BBC).
Ethiopia’s elections: Five more years (From The Economist print edition)
Ethiopia’s Meles Headed for Election Win as West Pours in Aid (Bloomberg News)
Last day of campaigning ahead of Ethiopia’s elections (BBC)
Ethiopian Diaspora In US Is Split Over Role in Election (Voice of America)
Experts say US Government Walks Fine Line with Ethiopia (VOA).
Divided Opposition Faces Longtime Incumbent (VOA)
Scenarios- How might Ethiopia’s elections play out? (Reuters)
Election monitors arrive in Ethiopia (UPI)
Ethiopia’s Biggest Electoral Prize Divided As Election Nears (VOA)

Analysis from VOA:
Experts Say There Will Be No Contest in Ethiopia’s Upcoming Vote
2005 Ethiopian Election: A Look Back

BBC Profile: Ethiopian leader Zenawi

BBC Profile: Ethiopia’s Merera Gudina

Related election news:
Ethiopian opposition says third activist killed before vote ( AFP)
Tigray, a ‘Battleground State’ in Ethiopian Elections (VOA)
Challengers Face Long Odds in Bid to Unseat Ethiopian Rulers (VOA)
Ethiopian TV journalist arrests worry watchdog (Times Live)
Scuffle breaks out among Ethiopian opposition (AP)

Video: Ethiopia Amharic News – Fight breaks out among Ethiopian opposition

Listen:
What do Addis Ababa residents think about the election?
(Click here to listen to VOA’s Amharic program)

More election news:
Tensions mount in Ethiopia (Times Live)
Ethiopian Opposition Demands Independent Probe Into Activist’s Death (VOA)
Ethiopia activist clubbed to death in ‘politically motivated’ murder (Guardian)
Ethiopia opposition leader flees 12-year jail term (Reuters)
Silence Not Golden In Ethiopia (VOA Editorial)
Free and fair elections in Ethiopia (The Hill)
Media Group to Ethiopia – Stop Jamming VOA Broadcasts (VOA)
Ethiopia Accuses Rights Groups, VOA of ‘Smear Campaign’ (VOA)
European Union to Send Monitors to Ethiopia Vote, Lawmaker Says (Bloomberg News)
VOA says Ethiopia blocks website as US row escalates (Reuters)
Ethiopian Opposition Party Elders Confront Prison Officials Over Jailed Leader (VOA)
Ethiopia Opposition barred from seeing jailed leader (Reuters)
Ethiopia blasts US for report on rights record (Sudan Tribune)
Forget about democracy (The Economist)
U.S. criticizes Ethiopia for jamming VOA broadcasts (CNN)
Candidate Slaying in Northern Ethiopia Stirs Calls for an Inquiry (VOA)
Opposition Criticizes Verdict in Killing (The New York Times)
Candidate Is Stabbed to Death in Ethiopia (The New York Times)


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