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30 March 2017 02:43 (South Africa)

Top Ethiopian politicians switch to leading opposition party

A former Ethiopian president and a former defence minister have joined the opposition Unity for Democracy and Justice party, which is part of an eight-party coalition that many Ethiopians view as the biggest electoral threat to the government. The UDJ's leader, Birtukan Mideksa, has been in prison since last December. Ethiopia has jailed numerous opponents in the past. The country has about 80 ethnic groups and the UDJ, whose leaders come from the three most prominent groups, is seen to represent the best chance for democracy. Seye Abraha, who was defence minister in the 1990s, was jailed for corruption in 2001 after falling out with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. After his release in 2007 he became a vocal opponent of the government. Read more: Reuters, Ethiopian Review

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