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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Some 1.2 Million Metropolitans Rally in Support of Ethiopia's Opposition

Supporters of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) expressed here Sunday their readiness to vote for the country's major opposition party.

CUD supporters, the majority of whom were young people, rallied at the downtown Meskel Square. They were estimated to be between 1to 1.2 million.

The demonstrators chanted slogans such as "with our ballots we declare our freedom" and "the coalition do not divide nations" among others. Some demonstrators also chanted "the decisive time has come!"

They thronged the Meskel Square just 24 hours after the ruling Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) held its campaign rally at the same venue ahead of the May 15 national elections.

Some demonstrators said they will vote for the coalition as it is capable of fighting backwardness and rescue the nation from abject poverty.

Shitu Muhe, a city resident, said she will vote for CUD as, shesaid, the coalition will curb problem of justice and joblessness.

Kedir Ali, another city resident, also said the existing education policy has not been benefiting the country, and expressed his readiness to cast ballots for CUD, believing that the coalition will correct the education system.

Set up in late 2004, the opposition coalition that groups five parties will take to the country's May 15 national elections to try and end the ruling party's 14 years in power.

Xinhua

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