The head of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) says he will boycott the next parliament, despite appeals from the United States to avoid a parliamentary walk-out.
CUD leader Hailu Shawel told VOA on Monday that other members of his coalition are free to take office – even if he does not. Mr. Hailu spoke to VOA during a visit to Washington.
Mr. Hailu said he was “surprised” the United States and European countries want the opposition to participate in parliament, after international election observers cited irregularities in the election outcome.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has said it would be illegal for elected lawmakers to boycott the parliament.
The National Electoral Board said Mr. Meles’ party won 327 seats in the 547-member parliament, the CUD won 109 seats, followed by the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces with 52 seats.