All polling stations officially closed. The board expected to announce winners starting tomorrow, and urge all contending political parties to refrain themselves from any activity. Anyone who will move against this will be accountable for its did, the board warned.
AEUP complaints: AEUP which is led by Hailu Shawel reported, observers charged by the party in monitoring voting in the rural regions of AEUP Northern Ketena, Western Ketena and Eastern Ketena in particular Gondar, North Wollo, Gojjam, Oromia and Afar Regions have been forcefully removed from observing the voting process and more importantly the results. Sadly, beatings of these observes have also been reported in certain areas. Problem was also observed in Bole woreda (Kifle Ketema) of
South Ethiopia: Dr. Beyene Petros told in a brief telephone conversation that it is the saddest moment in his life. “We got a pre-filled ballot box when we arrive at the polling station.” he said. EPRDF brought pre-filled boxes in the area he is contesting. On other places, The TPLF cadres have been intimidating the voter to put their ballot in to EPRDF’s box, Dr Beyene said. “There is no single election observer deployed in the area,” Beyene said.
Addis Ababa: Wereda 17, place where Eng. Gizachew Shiferaw is running, all Medrek observers were expelled by TPLF Military force. Voters have been seen voting with election cards of the year 1992 and 1997 distributed to voters. Gizachew declars the election is rigged. AEPU’s Eng. Hailu Shawul says all our observers, esp., from North Wollo, W. Gojjam, Wolaita and Oromia regions have been expelled. The cadres are using all controlled mechanisms to rig the vote in all over the country.
Tenbein: The driver who brought the observers have been detaind. There are no observers in the polling stations. All observers have been chased away from polling stations. Gun shots were also heard in the area yesterday, and on Friday fighter jets flew over Meleke, Ato Seye told ESAT today.
Awassa: Election observers have caught vote cards prior to the election. Our Awassa reporter says Dilla, Wonago, Yirgachefe and Gedeb is under siege. Election polls around Gedio zone are surrounded by military forces to intimidate voters.
Ambo: “This is not an election,” Dr. Merera tells in a telephone conversation. Dr. Merera Gudina, leader of main opposition coalition says the election baord is openly telling voters to vote only for EPRDF. The pressure, assault and intimidation is high in the area. Vote observers have been offrered TELLA drinks from TPLF. Our reporter from Gouder witnessed one person was seen voting four times.
People have begun voting on Sunday morning amid intimidation, fear and a very calm atmosphere. Most of the polling stations appeared calm on Sunday morning. Opposition figures and candidates are under firm surveillances by the security agents of Meles Zenawi.
Facts and Figures:
Voters: 32 million
Polling stations: 43,000 stations
EU Observers: 150
Election Board Watchers: 220,000
TPLF- controlled ETV is the only media outlet covering the story live, reflecting only the views of the incumbent. Report confirms that DW-German radio Amharic service has been jammed since last Friday.
The EU has dispatched only 150 election observers to cover 43,000 polling stations which is extremely small compared to 220,000 Zenawi’s cadres sent to each polling stations to manipulate the results.
Meles Zenawi has barred opposition poll watchers and foreign embassies to monitor the polls.