May 17, 2005
Counter-claims and conspiracy theories
A quick update on all the toing and froing and claims and counter-claims.
The EU's chief observer Ana Gomes scolded both the ruling EPRDF and the main opposition coalitions for making claims about the results before the official figures are in. "The EU election observation mission thinks that these announcements are not proper and will continue to follow the counting and tabulation closely," she said. Here is the full story.
The EPRDF and the opposition coalitions kept making their claims anyway. The EPRDF claimed to have won just over half the seats in parliamentary elections, but opposition leaders said it was still too early to tell who would form the next government. Here is the full story.
Meanwhile, the conspiracy theories continue to multiply. My favourite came from a journalist at yesterday's opposition press conference. He told me the government was monitoring journalists' mobile phones, cutting them off whenever they spoke to the opposition or anyone critical of the EPRDF. His proof? The fact that everyone's phones keep getting cut off.
Unfortunately this ignores one simple fact - Ethiopia's mobile phones are always getting cut off. They were getting cut off long before the election and, no doubt, they will continue to be cut off half way through conversations long after. it is all part of the fun of living with a state telecoms monopoly.
Posted by aheavens at May 17, 2005 5:52 PM