The electoral agency said Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Welfare Party won 410 of the 436 controversial seats in the Federal Parliament.
Ethiopia’s ruling Welfare Party was declared the winner of last month’s national election by an overwhelming advantage, ensuring the second five-year term of Prime Minister Abi Ahmed.
The June 21 election marked the first time Abiy faced voters since he was appointed prime minister in 2018 after several years of anti-government protests.
The Ethiopian National Election Commission announced on Saturday that the ruling party won 410 seats in the 436 federal parliaments where elections were held. Due to turbulence or logistical reasons, certain areas did not vote, so certain seats will remain vacant.
This vote was a test for Abiy, who took office in April 2018 after the prime minister resigned due to widespread protests.
Abiy has overseen dramatic political reforms, but critics say he is betraying some of his promises about political and media freedom.
He also received major international criticism for his handling of the conflict in the Tigray region that killed thousands of people.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and logistical issues, the June vote was basically peaceful, but the opposition party condemned harassment and intimidation, and the vote has been postponed twice.
Abi praised the election as the country’s first attempt to conduct a free and fair vote, but the United States said it had “major flaws” on the grounds that some opposition figures were detained and parts of Africa’s second most populous country were insecure.
The main opposition party, the leader of the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice Party, Birhanu Nega, lost, while the opposition party only won 11 seats.
The Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice Party has lodged 207 complaints with the electoral agencies about voting.
The popular opposition party in the Oromia region, Ethiopia’s largest federal state, boycotted the election. The ruling party operates independently in dozens of electoral districts.
Biltukan Mideksa, chairman of the Election Commission, said in a statement on Saturday that the voting was held at a time when Ethiopia is facing challenges, “but this voting process ensures that people will be managed by their votes.”
She added: “I want to confirm that we have successfully conducted a credible election.”
Among the more than 37 million people who have registered to vote, the turnout rate is only over 90%.
The Welfare Party was formed after the dissolution of the former Ethiopian ruling coalition, which was dominated by Tigray politicians.
The disagreement over the decision marked the first tension between the leaders of Abi and Tigray that eventually led to the conflict in the region in November.
Although Abiy hinted in 2018 that Ethiopia will limit the term of the prime minister to two, it is unclear whether he will act on this.