Feb. 17, 2010, midnight
Tensions in Ethiopia are rising with the approach of Parliamentary elections on May 23. The eight-party opposition coalition, Medrek, has alleged that a newsletter by the ruling People's Revolutionary Democratic Front is summoning its supporters to harass opposition candidates. The government denies this charge and has asserted that calls for surveillance of Medrek's members are meant for evidence-gathering in the event that activists must be prosecuted. Opposition candidates say that gunmen have threatened them not to register, but government spokespeople say that no such complaints have been filed by any candidate. European Union representatives are visiting Ethiopia to determine whether the elections will be free enough to merit an observation mission.