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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:14, July 21, 2005
Ethiopia urges patience for decision on election investigation
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The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) on Wednesday urged citizens to await with patience the decision of the board regarding the investigation of complaints on the country's parliament election.

It also urged people not to be "misguided" by statements of opposition parties aimed "disrupting" the peaceful investigation of complaints.

The Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) and the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF), the country's two major opposition parties, issued a joint statement on Tuesday which " misleads" the public regarding the investigation of complaints at a time when in fact the investigation has not been finalized and the board did not gave final decision, it said.

In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, the board said the two opposition parties claimed that the investigation of complaints was at stake, which it said, was "misleading" and " incorrect."

The two opposition parties said in their joint statement that the board gave decisions in favor of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), and their witnesses were " incarcerated," "harassed" and "killed" while the investigators have been "violating" the set investigation procedures.

NEBE is responsible for the administration, conduct and supervision of all elections in Ethiopia's federal and state constituencies.

The statement said the board is discharging its responsibilities independently in accordance with its mandate vested to it by the constitution and electoral law without partisanship.

It said the board had already disclosed election results of more than 300 constituencies which were confirmed as authentic and will make official the results of the remaining constituencies as soon as it finalizes the investigation of complaints filed by contesting parties.

The board said it would give fair decisions if the alleged intimidation, imprisonment and killings presented to the board were supported with evidence.

NEBE urged the parties to refrain from "disruptive mission" and live up to their expectation as well as respect the agreement they signed for legal and peaceful electoral process.

On Tuesday, CUD and UEDF said in a joint statement that NEBE had rigged from the investigations into irregularities in 139 of the 524 seats contested in the May 15 parliamentary polls.

NEBE started the investigations after police shot dead at least 36 people during a protest against alleged electoral fraud.

On July 8, partial official results, released by NEBE, showed the ruling party and its smaller political allies won 158 seats against 148 seats for the opposition coalitions in the 547-seat lower house of parliament.

Results for the remaining seats will be released this coming Friday after the electoral body finishes investigations.

Ethiopians went to poll on May 15 in the country's two separate elections to elect representatives to the House of People's Representatives and eight regional councils. Elections for the 23 constituencies of the Somali state will take place on Aug. 21.

Ethiopia has a two-house parliament: the 110-seat upper House of the Federation and the 547-seat lower House of People's Representatives.

Source: Xinhua

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