Major donor nations on Tuesday, Sept. 13, urged Ethiopia’s ruling and opposition parties to cooperate in forming a new parliament and to resolve their election disputes.
In a strongly worded statement, the Ambassadors Donor Group called on the government to investigate reported violations of human and political rights, and to address “irregularities” in the election. The diplomats also urged the two main opposition coalitions, which together won more than 160 seats, to join the parliament when it convenes next month.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has repeatedly said the election was free and fair and has dismissed complaints from international observers who have questioned the fairness of the election. Some opposition members, claiming fraud, had threatened to boycott parliament.
In their statement, ambassadors from the United States, Canada, Japan and 20 European nations also said Ethiopia needed to respect press freedoms and to resolve differences peacefully.