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  • Author: Terrence Lyons
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: May 15, 2005 elections presented the Ethiopian people a remarkable opportunity to express their political views by participating in a poll that offered them a meaningful choice. In contrast to earlier elections in 1995 and 2000, opposition parties did not boycott but rather competed vigorously across the country. Opposition party mistrust of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), reports of intimidation and violence, and highly polarizing rhetoric raised concerns during the pre-election period but did not deter opposition parties from campaigning in nearly every constituency. Live, televised debates on matters of public policy, opposition party access to state-owned media, and huge, peaceful rallies in the final week of campaigning made it clear that these elections would represent a critical moment in Ethiopia's political development. The Ethiopian people recognized this opportunity and turned out in overwhelming numbers to vote, forcing some polling stations in Addis Ababa to stay open 24 hours to accommodate those in line.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia