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Muted Celebrations for Abiy’s Landslide Win

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s ruling Prosperity Party (PP) overwhelmingly won general elections Saturday, meaning he will stay in power another term. Abiy’s party is expected take more than 410 of the 546 parliamentary seats in the first round of the contest, Ethiopia’s sixth national election. Opposition movements have raised concerns about the integrity of the June 21 ballot, Ethiopia’s first multi-party election in 16 years, albeit one riven with conflict, jailed opposition figures and parts of the country unable to vote. The US State Department said in a statement last month, before the vote, that it was “gravely concerned about the environment under which these upcoming elections” were to be held. A similar statement from European Union countries said the vote was happening in “problematic conditions.” Abiy dismissed those allegations on Twitter last month, calling the vote Ethiopia’s “first attempt at free and fair elections.” Thirty-seven million of Ethiopia’s 109 million citizens are registered to vote. However, many Ethiopians in conflict-ridden areas will have to wait until September 6 to cast their ballots when the second round of voting will be held.