Ethiopia : Countdown to May 23rd – VOA Reports

medrek 2010The Teacher Wants to Go to Parliament
By Jalene Gemeda

A language teacher in western Shoa is running for office in the May 23 election. Tsige Tibebu Wakjira teaches students Afaan Oromoo during the day and runs for parliament on the weekends. “If I win,” she said, “I will focus my efforts on stopping the human rights abuses done by the ruling party on the people of Oromiya.”

Tsige is a 35-year-old teacher at Ejeree Cangaree Junior School in Ejeree wereda in western Shoa. She made the same promise five years ago when she ran for the same parliamentary seat.She thought she had won, but the results were different. She said there was election fraud: Only 240 voters were registered by the final vote was 500.

She hopes her party, the Ethiopian Democratic Party, will win this election. Tsige planned to take time off from her classroom teaching to campaign and received a signed agreement allowing her to take leave for politics. But the government later said she couldn’t leave, so she takes her flyers to on market days.  She is positive she will win this year. “The people who have me their vote last time are still here.”

Police Break Up Oromo People’s Congress Rally in Moyale
By Meleskachew Amaha

During a campaign tour of southern Oromiya, the Oromo People’s Congress party chairman, Merera Gudina, traveled to Moyale to speak at a campaign rally leading up to the May 23 national parliamentary election. In a telephone interview with VOA, however, Merera said the gathering was aborted by police from the Somali region who dispersed the crowd.He questioned “who gave the authority to the Somali region police to interfere in Oromiya.

Merera said he and other party members had scheduled stops in 38 weredas in Oromiya but were only able to hold public meetings in six weredas. In Addis Ababa, Sofiya Yelma, the vice chair of the Ethiopian Democratic Party told a rally on Sunday that if their party wins the election they will create a million new jobs every year for the next five years.She also pledged that the EDP “will call a national reconciliation conference, to bring peace to Ethiopia.”

Opposition Parties Sound the Same
By Eskinder Ferew   

Leader of a major opposition party claims thousands attended their rallies in many parts of Ethiopia. An opponent complains the opposition parties political stance should not be assumed as same. The president of the All-Ethiopian People’s party, Hailu Shewal, claimed during an interview that “thousands of people from multi-ethnic communities have attended his party’s political rallies in many parts of Ethiopia.

Hailu spoke to VOA following a campaign event in Addis Ababa on Thursday. One of Hailu’s opponents, Lidetu Ayale of the Ethiopian Democratic Party, argued that the government portrays all of the opposition parties as having the same political platform, but they don’t.“The public should be given the opportunity to know the differences on issues among opposition parties,” said Lidetu.



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OPride Staff

Collaborative stories written or reported by OPride staff and contributors.

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