The Member of European Parliament Ana Gomes tweeted a long laughter responding to the Ethiopian ruling party claiming 100% election victory in the 2015 national election. “I laugh of the ludicrous results engineered in the farcical ‘elections,'” added the MEP Ms. Gomes.
According to Ethiopia’s controversial election board, the EPRDF ruling party has won 100 percent of the votes nationwide this week, including in Addis Ababa and the mid-western Oromia region. These two opposition stronghold regions are where MEDREK and Blue Party supposedly had won in a landslide according to an independent unofficial exit poll. During pre-election campaigns in April, million man marches in support of Medrek and Blue parties were held in dozens of urban centers through out Oromia.
However, even the leaders of opposition parties did not win a parliament seat so far, according to the disputed election board. “It was not an election, it was an organized armed robbery,” said Dr Merera Gudina, leader of the Oromo wing of Medrek party.
AU observers concluded the election was calm. But in a rarity, the AU observers; who are infamous for backing incumbent African regimes, complained about ballot boxes not being empty before voting began. In polling stations where there was no ballot box stuffing, ruling party members were also found inside the private booth, personally telling voters which way to vote, according to a New York Times report. “At first I was going to mark next to the five fingers,” said Workitu Daba, a 40-year-old farmer, referring to the symbol associated with Medrek. “There was someone in the booth with me and they said, ‘No, mark here!’ So I changed it,” she said.
Some opposition media also reported unconfirmed number of killings and the arrest of several opposition observers on Tuesday.
According to Dr. Gudina, most of his Medrek party’s election observers were kicked out of thousands of polling stations where AU officials were not present. Out of the 45,000 polling stations in Ethiopia, the small AU mission monitored less than 200 stations.
The US State Department also expressed concern on the Ethiopian election, describing “continued restrictions on civil society, media” and on “opposition party observers.”
A Western Diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the West is getting impatient with Addis Ababa and many embassy officials expected that the ruling party might allow the opposition to win some seats. “We are shocked. Even without factoring in the huge support the opposition enjoys, just the fact that Ethiopia is an extremely diverse country of 90 million people alone makes 100 percent election victory very unrealistic.”
But Teshome Borago, a US based Ethiopian political analyst, said the election problems are always the same because there are no independent federal institutions in Ethiopia. “Some Ethiopians are actually blaming opposition leaders because they are giving people false hope and doing the same thing over & over again expecting different result,” he said.
The European parliament member Ms. Ana Gomes summed up on Ethiopia, writing on twitter, “Fake elections, fake results.”