July 3, 2015 Ethiopia (Horn Affairs) — Britain’s Ambassador said: “It is starting to sound as if the ruling party and its allies will have a 100 percent of the seats in parliament. And I think that is not good for democracy; that is what you get in places like North Korea. But actually in Ethiopia you need some diversity of opinion in parliament.”
The Ambassador made the remark during an interview with the English-weekly The Reporter. The interview, published in the weekend, was conducted days before the officially announcement of final election results last Friday. Nonetheless, a total win by the ruling party EPRDF and its allies was widely expected since the last week of May.
Western diplomats in Addis Ababa, unlike elsewhere, seldom remark on domestic politics, especially since the 2005 post-election crisis that impacted relations with a couple of diplomatic missions.
Here is the Ambassador’s comment:
Question: What is your take on the recent election in which the ruling party won all the 547 seats in parliament? Would you characterize it as free, fair and credible?
Ambassador Greg Dorey:
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