Woyanne’s new excuses to disqualify more opposition candidates

January 19th, 2001

For immediate release
January 19, 2001

The regime of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in Ethiopia led by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is coming up with more excuses to attack and disqualify opposition candidates. Last week, the regime disqualified 700 of the 1,400 candidates representing the All Amara People Organization (AAPO) and accused Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP) of deceiving individuals into becoming its candidates.

Yesterday, January 18, the government controlled news agency, ENA, reported accusations by officials of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a party created and led by Meles Zenawi’s TPLF, that “some political parties were engaged in collecting candidature endorsement signatures claiming that they belong to the EPRDF.”

“The parties were also registering citizens as their candidates without their will and knowledge,” ENA quoted the EPRDF statement as saying.

ENA also reported that “two candidates of EPRDF in Woreda Seven of the capital said they had been bullied and beaten by EDP candidates.”

Both EDP and AAPO strongly deny these accusations. As we stated in our January 8 press release, such accusations are pretexts for attacking the opposition candidates to make sure that they don’t win seats in the upcoming local election.

We once again call on the international community, particularly those countries and international institutions that are giving financial backing to Meles Zenawi’s regime in Ethiopia to suspend their support until the regime stops its anti-democratic practices, release all prisoners of conscience and improves its human rights condition in Ethiopia. The continued support to this dictatorial regime will only embolden it, leading Ethiopia into further political crises and economic decline.