Ethiopia Between "Election Events": the Impact of the 2005 and 2010 Pre-Election Politics on Competitive Elections

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Addis Ababa University


The pre-electoral period of 2005 was a historic opening of democratic space in Ethiopia. Despite continuing obstacles, the country had benefited from the ruling party’s desire for a’ flawless’ election that would show Ethiopia’s democratic progress. The incumbent for the first time had to face a democratic challenge. However, its fruit had a bitter taste. In the after math of the election, the major opposition ‘irresponsibility’ discarded the Verdict of the public. On the other hand, the ‘rigid’ political behavior of the ruling party had led to a political deadlock. In 2008, the government expanded its full control over the local administration. Surprisingly enough, it ensured a total monopoly over the federal parliament in the current election 2010; a situation that remind us the last decade of the 20 th century. In between the ‘election events’, repressive laws were enacted that curtailed the political space. This coupled by political intimidations against the ‘neutralized’ opposition, the pre-election period of the 2010 election became gloomy . The study argues that there is the tendency of a return to ‘authoritarianism’ in the country. The research reviewed the weakness and the strengths that the 2005 election had, and its impact on the 2010 pre-election process. It also tries to assess the situation and major activities carried out in ‘Between the Election Events’ that help to caste light on the political direction to which the country is moving



Competitive elections