Saturday, May 14, 2005

Ethiopians Wish Elections Bring Change to Their Lives

Gobeze Bilxv said he cannot wait to cast his ballot in Sunday's general elections which he hopes will bring a bright future for the Ethiopians most of whom lived in abject poverty in the east African country.

"I believe the future for Ethiopians is bright if the elections will be held in a peaceful way," said Gobeze, who works for a private bank in the capital Addis Ababa.

"I think every eligible voter will go to the polls," Gobeze said, noting that great changes are now taking place in Ethiopia since Sunday's elections will be the first to be held under an environment that entitled people more freedom to choose.

A total of 36 political parties will vie for seats in Ethiopia's 547-seat lower house of parliament, the Council of People's Representatives. The prime minister will come from the party snatching most seats.

Meanwhile, voters will also elect representatives in nine regional state parliaments that will appoint members of the 112-seat Council of the Federation, the parliament's upper house.

Since the previous two elections were won handily by the ruling party with little challenge from other parties, the upcoming third elections is considered by analysts and ordinary people as a big step forward because it has offered equal chance for other contestants.

People's Daily

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