Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’sProsperity Party won the most seats in Ethiopia’s parliamentary election, theelection board said on Saturday, a victory that assures him another term inoffice.
Abiy hailed theJune 21 vote as the country’s first free and fair election after decades ofrepressive rule. However, an opposition boycott, war in the northern region ofTigray, ethnic violence and logistical challenges in some areas overshadowedthe election. Voting did not take place in three of Ethiopia’s 10 regions.
Abiy’s party won410 of 436 parliamentary seats, election board deputy chairperson WoubshetAyele announced in the capital Addis Ababa. Chairperson Birtukan Mideksa saidthe board had delivered a credible election.
Opposition leaderBerhanu Nega said his Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice party (Ezema) hadfiled 207 complaints after local officials and militiamen blocked observers inthe Amhara region and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ region.
The election wasthe first test of voter support for Abiy, who promised political and economicreforms when he was appointed prime minister by the governing coalition in2018.
Within months of taking office, Abiy lifted a ban on oppositionparties, released tens of thousands of political prisoners and took steps toopen up one of Africa’s last untapped markets.