Government, Opposition Dispute Source Of Election Violence

March 3, 2010, midnight

Opposition politicians this week accused Ethiopia's ruling party of orchestrating violent acts against its candidates. Spokespeople for Medrek, an alliance of opposition parties, said that government mercenaries on Tuesday stabbed one candidate to death and that members of the army beat another to the point of hospitalization. GEBRU Asrat, leader of one of Medrek's member parties, said that both events were part of a wider escalation of government repression in advance of legislative elections on May 23. A government spokesman on Wednesday denied government involvement. Medrek last week said the ruling party was instigating its supporters to harass opposition candidates. Government representatives similarly denied the charge.

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