Ethiopia’s newest opposition party builds its base among urban youth

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Ethiopia’s newest opposition party builds its base among urban youth

Unread post by selam sew » 20 May 2015 10:49


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Addis Ababa — The leader of Ethiopia’s newest opposition party hopes discontent among urban youth will win him support in a weekend election that could otherwise be a clean sweep for the ruling party in Africa’s most populous nation after Nigeria.

Over 36 million people have registered for the May 24 polls, the country’s first election since long-serving leader Meles Zenawi died in 2012.

His Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has been in power for almost a quarter of a century, and faces no reasonable prospect of defeat – the current 547-seat parliament has just one opposition member.

Yilekal Getinet, chairman of the three-year old Blue Party, or Semayawi in Amharic, says it originally put forward 400 candidates but electoral authorities cut the list to 139.

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Semayawi expects to win seats in the urban areas in spite of such obstacles.

“The people’s anger is increasing from time to time. By the strong opposition from the people and demands for further changes we may win in towns,” he said.

Semayawi, which wants less government involvement in the economy, sees itself as offering change in Ethiopian politics, with the vast majority of its members younger than 35.

Some 57 opposition parties are taking part in the polls but analysts say they present no real threat.


The opposition won an unprecedented 147 seats in an election 10 years ago but most of them did not join parliament, alleging the ballot had been rigged. Many of then spent two years behind bars on charges of inciting violence....Read More on AddisNews

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