Ethiopia: Election results delayed again

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

ADDIS ABABA, 7 July (IRIN) - Final results of Ethiopia's 15 May parliamentary election will once again be delayed until investigations into allegations of electoral fraud are completed, the National Electoral Board (NEB) chairman said on Wednesday.

NEB officials had previously postponed declaring the final results of the poll from 8 June to 8 July, saying they needed time to investigate disputed results.

"There was a delay and that delay is continuing and we expect it will be another two or three weeks before we know who the winner is," Kemal Bedri, the chairman of the NEB, said.

Kemal said the NEB would only release results from 250 to 300 constituencies, which he said would show who was leading but would not show the overall winner of the election.

The board, he added, was able to announce the outcome in those seats because their results were either uncontested or had been verified following the investigation of complaints.

The allegations of fraud sparked protests in June in which 36 people were reportedly killed by security forces.

The board is investigating complaints of election violations in 140 constituencies. The ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front has contested the results of five seats, while opposition parties are contesting the rest.

The NEB is also holding hearings in another 180 constituencies where original complaints were rejected following appeals by political parties.

A total of 524 seats were contested during the election, and a further 23 are due to be contested during elections in Ethiopia's Somali Region, officials said.


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