23 May 2010

Ethiopians vote in parliamentary elections

8:01 pm on 23 May 2010

Ethiopians have begun voting in their first parliamentary elections since a 2005 poll marred by protests which led to the deaths of 200 people.

Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, faces a challenge from a coalition of opposition parties; their leader, Merera Gudina, has indicated he does not expect the election to be free and fair.

The BBC reports the government of Mr Meles, a US ally, is expected to be re-elected, with the opposition seen as divided and disorganised.

The European Union has 170 observers on the ground.

More than 30 million voters have registered and will be choosing more than 500 members of parliament.