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Last Updated: Monday, 10 October 2005, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
MPs in Ethiopia snub parliament
Protesters rally outside Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Ethiopian students staged protests after the May election
The opening of Ethiopia's parliament for the first time since disputed polls was boycotted by most opposition MPs.

President Girma Giorgis rebuked absent members, accusing them of failing to use democratic means to address their complaints over May's election results.

The two opposition parties accuse Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's governing party of election fraud and have called for a government of national unity.

Mr Meles' EPRDF retained its majority but the opposition gained many seats.

The opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy party stayed away from the session, while most members of the United Ethiopian Democratic Force attended - but voted against the motion to allow Mr Meles to remain in the post of prime minister.

Several days of violence followed the 15 May poll and around 40 people were killed when police fired on crowds of protesters.

The Ethiopian government angrily dismissed an assessment by European Union monitors that the elections failed to meet international standards.

It accuses its opponents of stirring unrest in a bid to overthrow a democratically elected administration.

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