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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 May, 2005, 19:00 GMT 20:00 UK
Ethiopian ruling bloc 'wins poll'
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi's alliance looks set to form the next government
Ethiopia's ruling party and its allies have won an overall majority in the 547-seat parliament, provisional results from the 15 May election show.

The coalition led by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi have 283 seats so far, according to the results released by the national electoral body (Nebe).

Returns from 453 constituencies gave the opposition more than 170 seats.

Nebe said earlier that final results may be delayed because of hundreds of complaints and claims of vote-rigging.

Final results of Ethiopia's third democratic poll are due to be published on 8 June.

European Union election observers earlier this week expressed regret at the slow pace of vote counting.

'Many complaints'

The ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) led by Mr Zenawi won 269 seats, while four small allied parties secured another 14, Nebe said.

PROVISIONAL RESULTS
EPRDF - 269
CUD - 110
Others - 74
Seats so far - 453
Source: National Election Board

If confirmed, the results give Mr Zenawi's coalition 283 seats - enough to form the next government.

The main opposition party, the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), won 110 seats.

The CUD has filed complaints in 139 constituencies, while the EPRDF has cited alleged irregularities in more than 50 constituencies.

"We may know the provisional winner by Sunday, but we have many complaints to investigate," Nebe spokesman Getahun Amogne said.

Media accused

The EU observers last week accused Ethiopia's state media of bias in its coverage of statements by political parties.

They said that since election day, state media had been releasing on a daily basis provisional results, mostly indicating partial victories of the EPRDF in a number of constituencies.

The same media had ignored statements about results made by opposition parties, the observers said.

The EPRDF has governed the country since 1991.

Map showing Ethiopia's states





SEE ALSO:
Country profile: Ethiopia
18 Feb 05 |  Country profiles


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