Friday, May 06, 2005

Ethiopia PM Warns of 'Hate' Poll

According to BBC NEWS, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has accused opposition parties of fomenting ethnic hatred ahead of general elections on 15 May.

In a national television address, he compared opposition tactics to those used in the Rwandan genocide.

"The Ethiopian opposition is following the same trend to create havoc and hatred," Mr Meles said, AFP reports.

Last week the prime minister's party denied accusations that it was killing and intimidating opposition supporters.

Mr Meles was re-elected in parliamentary elections in 2000, following Ethiopia's first multi-party elections in 1995.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Mr Meles has warned that a victory for the opposition in May 15 elections could lead to Rwanda-style bloodshed, accusing his opponents of trying to foment ethnic hatred.

Meles' ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) is widely favored to win a third consecutive five-year term at the helm of Africa's top coffee producer, but the opposition is mounting its strongest challenge yet.

Meles said opposition parties were promoting divisive ideologies similar to those of the ethnic Hutu Interahamwe militias who massacred hundreds of thousands of minority Tutsis and Hutu moderates during Rwanda's 1994 genocide.

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