Jul 10, 2021 - World

Ethiopia's ruling party wins national election

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks at the inauguration of the newly remodeled Meskel Square on June 13, 2021 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks at the inauguration of the newly remodeled Meskel Square on June 13, 2021 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Ethiopia's ruling Prosperity Party has been declared the winner of last month's election, securing another five-year term for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, AP reports.

Why it matters: The vote served as a test for Abiy, who came to power in 2018. Many viewed the election as a chance for him to gain democratic legitimacy and for Ethiopia to hold its first free and fair election, Axios' Dave Lawler writes.

  • Yes, but: The U.S. has called the election "significantly flawed," per AP.

The big picture: In what was an expected win, the ruling party won 410 seats of 436 contested in the federal parliament, according to the National Election Board of Ethiopia.

  • No votes were cast in Tigray, where a war has been raging and thousands of people face famine conditions.
  • The Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice party has filed 207 complaints with the electoral body in response to the vote.

Catch up quick: Abiy, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, promised new political freedoms and touted a vision for the country defined by a national identity, rather than ethnic or regional identity.

  • Abiy oversaw dramatic political reforms after taking office, but critics now fear he may be reestablishing the authoritarian rule he once so adamantly opposed.

What to watch: The new government is expected to take shape in October, per AP.

Go deeper: Ethiopia holds a vital, flawed election

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