Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy’s Prosperity Party won the most seats in Ethiopia’s parliamentary election, the election board said on Saturday, giving the PM the assurance of another five years in office.
The party won 410 of 436 parliamentary seats, election board deputy chairperson Woubshet Ayele announced in the capital Addis Ababa.
In a Twitter post after the announcement on Saturday, Abiy hailed the June 21 vote as a historically inclusive election overshadowed by opposition boycott, war in the northern region of Tigray, ethnic violence and logistical challenges in some areas.
Voting did not take place in three of Ethiopia’s 10 regions.
“Our party is also happy that it has been chosen by the will of the people to administer the country,” he added.
However, the opposition leader Berhanu Nega said his Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice party has filed 207 complaints following reports that observers in the Amhara region and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ region were stopped from monitoring the exercise.
The opposition parties Ezema and the National Movement of Amhara (NAMA) each won less than 10 seats.
The election marked the first time Abiy faced voters since he was appointed prime minister in 2018 following several years of anti-government protests.
Within months of taking office, Abiy lifted a ban on opposition parties, released tens of thousands of political prisoners and took steps to open up one of Africa’s last untapped markets.
But now faces international pressure over the war in Tigray and accusations from rights groups that his government is rolling back some new freedoms, a claim the government continues to deny.