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Published 27th May 2005

Vol 46 No 11


The big upset

No one expected the ruling party to do so badly but it still holds power at the centre, facing a revitalised opposition

It was a stunning setback for the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front. When the polls closed on 15 May, the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) seemed to have won all Addis Ababa's seats in the House of Peoples' Representatives (HPR) and on the city council, and taken most towns. Final results are due by 8 June; meanwhile, both the EPRDF and the CUD, together with its ally, the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF), have claimed implausible victories.

The ethnic factor

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The Coalition for Unity and Democracy appeals to Amhara nationalism, which the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front calls chauvinism. The CUD wants to get rid o...

Presidential duel

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A deadlocked election for the Bank's new leader is holding back international money

'No white smoke yet', South Africa's Finance Minister Trevor Manuel joked with a crowd of journalists after five rounds of voting for the African Development Bank president on 18 M...

Battles of Boro's ghost

The struggle in the Delta heats up again as foreign reserves top $21 billion

Deep in the oil-rich Niger Delta, the Ijaw people are fighting over the ghost of nationalist hero Isaac Jasper Boro. At stake are the political allegiances of the Ijaw, Nigeria's f...

Through a glass very darkly

Closely watching the succession in Conakry are West African presidents, warlords and diplomats. Their central calculation is that what's good for Liberia's exiled warlord Charles T...

Three into one

Once again, the islands quarrel and South Africa tries to reconcile them

Rival leaders seemed to have found a way out of years of coups and secessionist crises when they adopted a new power-sharing constitution in 2001. Now, tensions over implementation...

Vultures gather

Military officers and regional warlords jockey for power as the President's condition worsens

The vultures are gathering as President Lansana Conté is reported to be slipping in and out of a diabetic coma. A mass prison breakout in Conakry on 15 May has added to the ...

A man from Anjouan

It is Anjouan island's turn to fill the Union presidency after elections in April 2006. Leading candidates include:



The European Union has managed to persuade the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states to open negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), due to bring in free trad...

Watch this space

We hear Jan Pronk, the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative for Sudan since June, seeks another job. The Netherlands' former International Development Minister...


Somalia's foreign partners are wondering how long its Transitional Federal Government (TFG) can last. Since they painstakingly arranged for its creation, two big things have gone w...