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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Ethiopian Opposition Complains That EU Election Observers Arriving Late

The European Union will be sending too few elections observers and too late to ensure free and fair elections in Ethiopia, an opposition leader said Monday, adding that the government has already taken steps to guarantee the ruling party a victory.

The first of 159 EU election observers arrived over the weekend, the first outsiders to officially monitor balloting in Ethiopia. The May 15 vote will only be the third election in the Horn of Africa nation's history.

"There are too few observers," said Brehanu Nega, the campaign manager for the Coalition for Unity and Democracy, one of the largest opposition groups. "We don't think 159 observers can effectively monitor voting in 38,000 polling stations."

Sudan Tribune

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