Sunday, August 07, 2005

Ethiopia to Rerun Elections in 14 More Districts

Mail & Guardian -- Ethiopia will hold rerun voting in 14 additional constituencies where fraud and irregularities occurred in disputed May elections, bringing to 29 out of 523 the number of precincts where repeat polls will be held.

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (Nebe) said late on Friday the decision was made after reviewing fraud complaints from 69 of 74 constituencies where results from the May 15 polls have yet to be released.

The board rejected allegations of wrongdoing in 55 of the 74, according to Nebe spokesperson Getahun Amogne.

"The election board has endorsed the preliminary results of the 55, which will be made public next week," he said.

Of the re-votes, four will involve entire constituencies while in the other 25, the new elections will take place only in specific polling stations where the board found evidence of fraud, Getahun said.

The new polls are to be held on August 21 and the board has banned campaigning in the run-up to balloting, for which voter registration will be conducted from Sunday until August 16, he said.

Preliminary results showing a ruling party victory in the May 15 polls sparked protests in the capital and clashes that left at least 36 people dead.

So far, Nebe has released results from 435 constituencies out of which the ruling party has won 263 seats against the opposition coalition's 172.

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