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News Analysis: Ruling Party wins Fed. parliament, contested regional councils by a landslide; Re-elections, Recounts to be conducted in 23 constituencies

Left to Right: Birtukan Mideksa, Chairwoman of NEBE, Sahlework Zewde, President of FDR Ethiopia. Photo: NEBE

By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12

Addis Ababa, July 12/2021 – The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced the final results of the 6th national election on July 10, 2021. Out of 547 seats of the House of People’s Representatives (HoPR), the election was contested for 436 seats only of which the ruling Prosperity Party (PP) won the majority. As the second day set for elections in the entire Somali Regional State, discounted constituencies in other regional states as well as the South West region referendum, the ruling controls the majority both in the Federal Parliament and the regional councils. 

Of the confirmed 436 seats contested, NEBE announced that PM Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party (PP) won the majority of the seats.  According to NEBE’s report, PP won 410 seats at the HoPR while the National Movement of Amhara (NAMA) won 5 seats representing the Amhara regional state in federal parliament, and Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (Ezema) won 4 in SNNP region, Independent candidates won 4 seats and Gedeo People’s Democratic Party won 2 seats and 10 seats were up for re-election.

Birtukan Mideksa, Chairwoman of NEBE said  during the announcement ceremony, “I would like to tell the government media that are recording us today. You have been disseminating incumbent campaigns’ propaganda  day and night while  allocating only 10 to 15 minutes air time for opposition parties, that practice affected the process. The board stayed silent only because it didn’t not have the power to enforce it.”

NEBE said that re-election will be conducted on 10 election constituencies. Moreover, The NEBE announced the final results for regional councils as well as the two cities councils (Addis Abeba, Dire Dawa) whereas  Addis Ababa (138), Dire Dawa (189) cities councils the ruling PP won all seats as well as winning in all seats in 190 seats of the Sidama regional council. The ruling party also won all contested seats (513 out of 537) in Oromia regional council (Caffee in Afaan Oromoo).

In Afar regional council (96 seats) the ruling party won 51 out of 54 contested constituencies, Argoba People’s Democratic Party won 3 and in one constituency there will be re-election.  In Amhara regional council (294), the ruling party won 128 out of 146 contested constituencies while Nama  won 13 and 5 constituencies were set for re-elections.

In Benishangul-Gumuz regional council (99 seats), the ruling party won 22 seats out of a total of 24 contested constituencies while one constituency was set for re-election and another for recount. In the Gambella regional council (156 seats), the ruling party won 149 seats while 7 seats went to the Gambella People’s National Movement (GPNM). The Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples region where the ruling party and Ezema competed for regional as well as federal seats was no different. The ruling party won 249 out of 264 contested seats for the regional council (291 seats) while Ezema and Gedeo People’s Democratic Party won 10 and 6 seats respectively and recounts are to be carried out in 3 constituencies.

President Sahlework Zewdie, who appeared at the announcement ceremony, addressed the importance of evaluating, improving and correcting errors in a country like Ethiopia whose democracy is yet at an infant stage. She reiterated the idea of paying due attention for the election saying,  “It would be nice to evaluate the election system to ensure the real reflection of voters cast.”

The Federal Parliamentary system is how the government of Ethiopia is structured whereby the prime minister is the head of government. The House of Peoples’ Representatives (HoPRs) with 547 members are elected for five-year terms in single-seat constituencies. AS

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