By William Davison
(Bloomberg) — Two members of the Ethiopian opposition were
killed this week following the beating to death of a
parliamentary candidate from the Blue Party on June 15,
opposition leaders said.
Tadesse Abraha, an organizer for the Arena party, which is
part of the Medrek opposition coalition, was assaulted on June
16 near the town of Humera, according to Gebru Asrat, Arena’s
chairman. A Medrek member, Berhanu Erabo, died after an attack
on June 18, coalition leader Beyene Petros said by phone from
the capital Addis Ababa on Saturday.
The incidents come a month after a landslide election
victory for the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary
Democratic Front coalition, which extended its 20-year rule over
Africa’s second-most populous country. Supporters of the
government are responsible for the attacks, according to Beyene.
“They say without supporting ERPDF you cannot survive in
the community and we’ll get you,” he said. “This is a threat
that’s now being translated into action.”
Results to date from May 24 polls show the EPRDF and allied
parties won all 442 of the seats counted so far in the 547-
member federal parliament and 100 percent in regional
legislatures. President Barack Obama should raise human-rights
concerns with Ethiopian leaders next month when he becomes the
first sitting U.S. leader to visit the country, Human Rights
Watch said on Friday.
Samuel Awoke, a Blue Party candidate in the Amhara region,
died on June 16 after being attacked by two men for opposing the
government, according to the party. The motive wasn’t political
and the attackers were from a family that Samuel, a lawyer, had
unsuccessfully represented in court, State Minister of
Communications Shimeles Kemal said June 17.
Ethiopia’s electoral board will announce the final election
results on June 22.