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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Briefing: the 2008 Ethiopian local elections: the return of electoral authoritarianism
Authors:Aalen, LoviseISNI
Tronvoll, KjetilISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Volume:108
Issue:430
Pages:111-120
Language:English
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:local councils
elections
2008
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/27667097
Abstract:Ethiopia carried out local elections for neighbourhood ('kebele') and county ('woreda') assemblies on 13 and 20 April 2008, respectively. By law, these elections were supposed to be conducted in 2005, but the chaotic period after the general elections that year made it impossible to carry out the local polls. Considering the formative character of the 2005 general elections, where the opposition for the first time challenged the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), and the dramatic political crackdown in the postelection period, the conduct of the 2008 local elections is important in understanding the status and direction of Ethiopia's overall process of democratization. This article deals with the background to the 2008 local elections, the lack of competition in these elections, the flawed election exercise, the EPRDF carrot and stick strategy to increase its membership, local cadres and the struggle for daily bread, and the role of international actors. It concludes that the constrained political context and government strategies of intimidation and harassment - leading the main opposition parties to withdraw from the local elections - signal the return of electoral authoritarianism in Ethiopia. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]
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