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Vol 56 No 1

Published 9th January 2015


Ethiopia

Not a popularity contest

The EPRDF won’t allow the recovering opposition to test its electoral support and will tightly manage the coming elections

The most certain outcome in 2015 will be a sweeping electoral victory for the governing Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and another five years in office for Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Ethiopian soldiers and diplomats will continue to contain various local and regional conflicts without resolving them and the new five-year economic strategy will carry on where the last one left off. The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia has chosen 24 May for national and regional elections. Campaigning is to begin on 14 February but the final results are not expected until late June. EPRDF leaders have little to worry about. Advances in development have won them support in many parts of the country and the first-past-the-post electoral system favours a strong incumbent. More than six million EPRDF members and party cells in every village help turn out the vote where it matters most, in the rural constituencies that account for the majority of parliamentary seats and where opposition structures are weak to non-existent.

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