Ethiopia’s Extended Transition

Issue Date October 2005
Volume 16
Issue 4
Page Numbers 144-158
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Beginning on 15 May 2005, Ethiopia conducted the first genuinely competitive multiparty elections in its long history. As of this writing in early September 2005, it appears that the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which has been at the heart of a de facto single-party regime for 14 years, has secured a further five-year mandate. Yet the EPRDF saw its majority in the 547-seat Council of People’s Representatives (CPR) drop dramatically from the 481 seats that it had won in 2000 to just 327 seats five years later. Two opposition coalitions and an array of independent candidates collectively garnered 45 percent of the popular vote and as many as 200 or more seats. Elections in the Somali Region, delayed by political unrest and flooding, gave all 23 seats to an independent party that collaborates with the EPRDF.

About the Author

John W. Harbeson is professor of political science at the City University of New York (the Graduate Center and City College). His books include The Ethiopian Transformation: The Quest for the Post-Imperial State (1998). He is a former U.S. Institute of Peace fellow and Princeton Center of International Studies visiting fellow.

View all work by John W. Harbeson