AFTER witnessing that the May 24 elections in Ethiopia has become a subject of worldwide ridicule, the election board was told on Thursday to suspend declaring the results. By then the board had already reported results from 80 percent of the votes that all goes miraculously to the ruling EPRDF, leaving the opposition empty-handed.
A week has passed since and no more results have been made public. No specific incident has happened to warrant for such suspension or delays except that the rigged results causing too much of a surprise to the regime itself and, of course, a total embarrassment to the majority of the Ethiopian people.
How is it difficult for an electoral board that declares 80% of the votes in just two days can take an entire week (… and counting) to release the remaining 20%? Of course, the whole exercise was a farce.
Reports, however, suggest that the ruling regime is secretly discussing on possible scenarios before the whole process gets nasty. By far, the seemingly 100% dictatorial victory by the regime have caused some form of uneasiness within its handlers in Washington and Europe.
U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, for instance, was on the receiving end lately after she tried publicly praising the dictatorship in Ethiopia as a “democracy”.
The regime needs to recover first from the bloody nose it sustained from lack of international legitimacy to the whole election and its resultant outcome since the U.S. and EU snubbed from observing its sham election. Denying the 57 opposition parties even a single parliamentary seat is, therefore, a disaster to its poster child image by the West.
Therefore, it is any one’s guess what will happen to the remaining 20 percent of the undisclosed seats. A proposal that is being debated among the EPRDF leadership includes handing out a few seats to the “ungrateful” opposition while still maintaining its victory by a landslide.
But how much is a landslide? In the 2010 election, the incumbent won a similarly stage-managed drama by a whooping 99.6 percent margin. Its former strong man, the late Meles Zenawi, will definitely role in his grave if the margin of victory this year is less than 99.6 percent.