Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Spotlight on Darfur 1 and The Darfur Collection

Last May, Catez Stevens at Allthings2all in New Zealand kindly put together The Darfur Collection.

Now, Catez is initiating and hosting Spotlight on Darfur 1 starting September 1. It will feature posts on the current Darfur situation from various bloggers. If you are a blogger and would like to send in a post for inclusion in the Spotlight on Darfur please email Catez for details.

Eugene Oregon at Coalition for Darfur helpfully writes Reminder: Spotlight on Darfur 1.

Note, Catez is planning a regular series of Spotlight on Darfur. If you have missed Darfur 1, there is still plenty of time to prepare a post for Spotlight on Darfur 2 or 3 or 4 ...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

EU criticises Ethiopian elections - 'Votes for sale' - Ethiopia's new Parliament

Copy of a report by the BBC today:

The European Union's chief election observer in Ethiopia has said recent elections failed to meet international standards in several key respects.

Ana Gomes criticised the way charges of electoral fraud were dealt with after the parliamentary elections.

"Solid evidence" of irregularities presented by the opposition had been dismissed, she said.

The coalition led by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi retained its majority but the opposition gained many seats.

Several days of violence followed the 15 May poll and around 40 people were killed when police fired on crowds of protesters.

Last Sunday, repeat elections were held in 31 seats, as well as in the Somali region.

"The EU Observation Mission regrets [that the election process] did not live up to the international standards and to the aspirations of Ethiopians for democracy," Ms Gomes said.

She especially criticised the elections in the Somali region, saying they were "poorly organized, full of irregularities, including ballots being sold in the black market."

The results from Sunday's elections have not yet been released.

She also said there had been human rights abuses, such as the arrest of opposition activists and the intimidation of witnesses.

The main opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy has refused to accept the official results and welcomed the EU statement.

"I think it was a good, honest report and now we need dialogue to resolve the current deadlock," said CUD vice-chairman Berhanu Nega.

Information Minister Bereket Simon dismissed the EU report as "biased".


EPRDF: 296
EPRDF allies: 22
CUD: 109
UEF: 52
Others: 13
Re-runs: 31
Still to be held: 24
Source: National Electoral Board

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Ethiopia in partial vote re-run

Excerpt from a BBC report today:

Voters in Ethiopia are casting their ballots in a partial re-run of the disputed general election held in May.

Voting is taking place in 30 seats where there had been complaints of fraud or other irregularities during the initial poll.

About 40 people protesting against the alleged fraud were killed when police opened fire on a crowd after the poll.

Voting is also taking place in Ethiopia's Somali region, three month's later than the rest of the country.

The music of a Somali war song dating back to the conflict between Ethiopia and Somalia nearly 30 years ago has been used by some candidates in the hope of attracting support in the Somali region.

It is one of the poorest parts of the Horn of Africa.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Attacks on press freedom in East Africa

Note Ethan's post on Ethiopia and Uganda concerning more attacks on press freedom in East Africa.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi wins disputed poll

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has won May's bitterly disputed elections, official results show.

Meles Zenawi will enjoy a majority in parliament.

Full Story at BBC news online August 9. 2005.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Ethiopian electoral board rules poll re-run in 69 constituencies

Aug 5, 2005 report by ENA via Sudan Tribune:

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has given decisions on Friday on 69 constituencies where the investigation process has been completed.

Press and information department with NEBE told Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) that at a meeting the board held on Friday decided to hold re-run elections partially or entirely in 14 constituencies. It approved the provisional results of 55 constituencies.

The Complaint Investigation Panels (CIPs) recently passed recommendations to hold re-run elections in 15 constituencies.

NEBE decided to hold re-run elections partially or entirely in 29 constituencies, including the 15 constituencies out of which re-run elections would be held entirely in four constituencies. Accordingly, the department said re-run elections would be held entirely in Denbiya 01 and Eteya constituencies in the Amhara Regional State as well as Basketo Special and Basketo constituencies in the South Ethiopia Peoples State [Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples%u2019 State].

The re-run elections would be held in some polling stations in the 25 constituencies. While re-run elections would be held partially in Bugna constituency in North Welo, Gonder Zuria in North Gonder Zone and Chiliga 02 constituency. Re-run elections would be held in some polling stations in Bati, Alibuko and Dewa Chefa constituencies in South Welo Zone.Also in some polling stations in Gunji constituency in West Gojam, in Alem town in North Shewa and Amanuel and Mota constituencies in East Gojam.

The department said re-election would also be held in some polling stations in Efeson constituency in North Shewa Zone in the Amhara Regional State. Re-run elections would also be held in some polling stations in Addis Alem and Weliso 02 constituencies in West Shewa and Southwestern Shewa zones respectively in the Oromiya Regional State.

While re-run elections would be held in some polling stations in Kokosa in Bale Zone and Kuyu in North Shewa in the state. Some polling stations in Tula, Arbegona, Guguma and Bursa constituencies in Sidama Zone, as well as Wonago 01 constituency in Gedeo Zone in the South Ethiopia Peoples State would also host re-run elections. The re-run elections would also be held in some polling stations in Zara Deramalo Male Special constituency in Gamo-Gofa in the state, the department said.

Some polling stations in Lemo 02 and Soro 02 in Hadiya Zone would hold re-run elections, it said.

There are five constituencies where decisions have not passed, as the investigation process has not finalized yet.

No election campaign is allowed during the re-run elections, the board underscored.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Sudanese VP Dr John Garang DeMabior, 13 Others Die in Plane Crash

More news on the tragic death of Dr Garang at Sudan Watch: Sudan's first VP and former rebel leader killed.