Ethiopia Votes

In less than two months, Ethiopians will be heading to the polls to vote in parliamentary elections. As a way or preparing for the elections, the Ethiopian government has decided to hold a free and democratic election by repressing the rights of its citizens if they dissent from the current regime.

Since the April 2008 local elections in which the EPRDF won over 99.9 percent of the vote, the ruling party has consolidated its control over village and district administrations and ruled with an iron grip. In the districts visited by Human Rights Watch, residents told how every village was organized into cells and local government officials, and militia monitored households for signs of dissent. Local administrations withheld government services to punish those who criticized the government or did not support the ruling party.

The Ethiopian government is giving its citizens a valuable lesson on democractic elections. Either vote for the ruling party or don’t vote at all. It’s that plain and simple.

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