the May 2010 elections a casualty of a broader agenda of repression and
control, or was the agenda of repression and control primarily an electoral
Leslie Lefkow, HRW
Election results show Ethiopia's move toward one-party rule: U.S. expert
WASHINGTON, DC - The results of recent elections in Ethiopia show the country is inching toward a one-party rule, and now Meles Zenawi, the prime minister, has been in power longer than the military dictator he toppled in 1991, said Ted Dagne, an American expert on the Horn of Africa.
"Pre-election conditions were marred by the harassment, detention, and in some cases killing of opposition members. The combination of measures taken by the ruling EPRDF over the past several years not only weakened legal opposition but also crushed civil society, human rights groups, and the independent press activities," Ted said.
"Some Ethiopians and outside observers also assert that many were fearful of being killed or injured should they express open support for the opposition as was the case in the 2005 elections." he added.
The expert also blamed the opposition groups for squandering precious time over inter- and intra-party squabbles rather than forging a formidable united front against the ruling party. (Ted Dagne's full text is downloadable here.)
Others who testified were Leslie Lefkow, Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch; Sadia Ali Aden, Human Rights Advocate and Freelance Writer; Kenneth John Menkhaus, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science at Davidson College; and Pagan Amum, Secretary General of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement.