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Voting, Violence and Violations: Peasant Voices on the Flawed Elections in Hadiya, Southern Ethiopia

Kjetil Tronvoll
The Journal of Modern African Studies
Vol. 39, No. 4 (Dec., 2001), pp. 697-716
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3557346
Page Count: 20
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Voting, Violence and Violations: Peasant Voices on the Flawed Elections in Hadiya, Southern Ethiopia
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Abstract

This article presents peasant grievances on the flawed 2000 elections in Hadiya zone, southern Ethiopia. For the first time in Ethiopia's electoral history, an opposition party managed to win the majority of the votes in one administrative zone. In the run-up to the elections, government cadres and officials intimidated and harassed candidates and members from the opposition Hadiya National Democratic Organisation (HNDO). Several candidates and members were arrested and political campaigning was restricted. On election day, widespread attempts at rigging the election took place, and violence was exerted in several places by government cadres and the police. Despite the government's attempt to curtail and control the elections in Hadiya, the opposition party mobilised the people in a popular protest to challenge the government party's political hegemony - and won. If this is an indication of a permanent shift of power relations in Hadiya, it is however, too early to say.

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