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Over a million Ethiopians support the opposition party (CUD) rally

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Males zenewi faces ousting in the coming 15th May election. We await what happens in the elections. If Meles were to say, then he may rig the votes. If he is defeated, what implication will such defeat have on Somali politics?




ADDIS ABABA, May 8 (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians thronged the capital on Sunday to support the opposition, who go to the polls next week pledging to tackle poverty by freeing up the state-controlled economy.

Thousands of young Ethiopians streamed into the central square in Addis Ababa, flashing the two fingered sign for victory -- the election symbol of the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD).


Some supporters had taped banners saying "Victory over Dictatorship" and "Stand Up Speak Up" to their heads.


The May 15 elections are widely regarded as a test of democracy in Ethiopia, where opposition candidates say their supporters have been harassed, beaten and detained in the runup to the polls.


"I hope the government understands that the people are saying they want a change -- not just in Addis but everywhere," Hailu Shawel, CUD chairman told reporters before addressing the rally, which organisers said numbered two million, but witnesses put at hundreds of thousands.


Five main opposition parties and coalitions have set aside their differences to form one of the strongest alliances yet to challenge Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's 14 years in power.


Meles' Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) is widely expected to win a third five-year term in Africa's top coffee producer, but analysts say the ruling party's parliamentary majority may slip under pressure from opposition candidates.


"What has the government given me? I have no job, no right to property and no freedom," said 42-year-old labourer Kassu Kemere.


Police blocked the city centre, stopping opposition supporters from the suburbs from joining the rally, organisers said. Police officials were not immediately available for comment.




Hailu said the CUD would focus on economic growth through political reforms and privatisation. Ethiopia is struggling to shake off the effects of centuries of feudalism followed by nearly two decades of Marxism under dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, who was ousted in 1991.


Officials say 46 percent of Ethiopia's 71 million people live below the poverty line, with many peasant farmers in the rural areas trapped in abject poverty.


"Our plan is to free the economy, move to free enterprise, with land ownership by the people themselves," he said.


Critics of the government say the EPRDF have failed to tackle poverty by reforming land policies blamed for chronic food shortages.


They say the present system gives little incentive to the farmer to invest in land which is leased to him by the government.


Hailu dismissed Meles' claim that the opposition was promoting divisive ideologies similar to those of the ethnic Hutu militias who butchered 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda's 1994 genocide.


"The opposition has no military power and does not aspire to mass murder," he said. (Additional reporting by Tsegaye Tadesse)


--Source: EthioMedia

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J11. One way or the other somali in that part of the world are marginalized and have neither hope nor interest in the out come. This so call CUD are the pure Abyssinian or AKA Amhara (Amaxaar) who crave for nothing but a power and forced unity under thier version of Ethiopa. They ruled Ethiopia for thousands of years be it as a coward king or military dictatorship. Now that gone old day nostaligic memory still haunting them. Still their agenda is not clear and they seems incoherent and confussed. I dont really know if they are better or worse but all i know is that they care less when it comes to SOMALI be it thier pupet or thier enemy.

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Jamaal, few things I would like to say about this so-called May Election.


First, the outcome of the Election has been predetermined by forces outside the Amharo/Tigray/Oromo or any other group that has influence on the Abyssinian politics. These elections happen in Ethiopia, but the resulting-numbers are Made in Washington DC. You might wonder how, but the answer should be clear if you follow Ethiopian politics. Why do I say so? Consider few things in the background: First, Melez and the TPLF have been put in place by the West to counteract any possibility of Muslim dominance of that region or East Africa, in general. As you know, Oromos make up ~60% of the total Ethiopian Population. Keeping in mind that > 68% of Oromos are Muslims, any power grab by them will undoubtedly endanger the agenda of the West; thus supporting and empowering the EPRDF is the only way to face-off that threat of Ethiopia becoming an Islamic stronghold. Less of a threat, but equally important in the Ethiopian politics or western interest for that matter is the Somali State, the OGA'DEN. The Berlin Agenda ('1882/'84) may sound historical, but the conspiracy is yet intact-ensuring Christian superiority in East Africa. Ethiopian has done their part, rather well by Marginalizing, oppressing, and displacing Somalis, among other tactics. And for the Most part, they succeeded-Axmed Gurey fought for Diridhawa (Hararge), Zayid Maxammed fought for Harar, lower Awash, and today Ethiopia fights for Mogadishu/Hargaysa/Baydhabo (Puntland has long fallen into the map of Ethio-political force)



Why does the West choose the Tigray over Guragis or Amharis or other groups? That is another long story, a historical one. But, my point is let’s not confuse ourselves in this Election; TPLF will win, unless some powerful winds crush the Western interest overnight. (Amaba Allah sikale ka dhigo xaalada).



P.s. All the percentage numbers are estimates. No precise census has ever been done in Ethiopia, so any number that reflects Ethiopian data is purely estimate. For instance, in the 1996 concesus, the goverment said 60 of the total population is Oromo; now they argue Aromos are less than half of the total population...

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