Ethiopia's PM wins election in landslide

·2-min read

Ethiopia's ruling Prosperity Party has been declared the winner of last month's national election in a landslide, assuring a second five-year term for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The National Election Board of Ethiopia announced that the ruling party won 410 seats out of 436 contested in the federal parliament, which will see dozens of other seats remain vacant after one-fifth of constituencies did not vote due to unrest or logistical reasons.

Ethiopia's new government is expected to be formed in October.

The vote was a major test for Abiy, who came to power in April 2018 after the former prime minister resigned amid widespread protests.

Abiy oversaw dramatic political reforms that led in part to a Nobel Peace Prize the following year, but critics say he is backtracking on political and media freedoms.

Abiy has also drawn massive international criticism for his handling of the conflict in the Tigray region that has left thousands of people dead.

June's vote, which had been postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic and logistical issues, was largely peaceful but opposition parties decried harassment and intimidation. No voting was held in the Tigray region.

Abiy has hailed the election as the nation's first attempt at a free and fair vote, but the United States has called it "significantly flawed", citing the detention of some opposition figures and insecurity in parts of Africa's second most populous country.

The leader of the main opposition Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice party, Birhanu Nega, lost while opposition parties won just 11 seats.

The Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice party has filed 207 complaints with the electoral body over the vote.

Voter turnout was just over 90 per cent among the more than 37 million registered voters.

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