July 10 (UPI) — Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party won a landslide victory in the first round of the country’s elections, winning 410 of the 547 seats in the House of People’s Representatives.
The National Election Board of Ethiopia announced Saturday that the Prosperity Party won 410 of the 436 contested seats in the first round of voting, giving the party a clear majority in the legislative body.
The House of People’s Representatives is responsible for electing the prime minister, and Ahmed is now expected to retain the position.
Voting was delayed for some of the 547 seats in the House, with security concerns and logistical problems being cited as the reason by officials. Voting in some of those constituencies has been scheduled for Sept. 6, while elections have not yet been scheduled in the war-torn Tigray region.
Ahmed hailed the results of the “unique and historic” election and reached out to opposition leaders in a victory statement posted to his official Facebook account.
“This election has not produced a winner or a loser, but a democracy that has one who questions and another accountable,” he said.
The Prosperity Party swept the election in the Oromia region, where opposition parties boycotted the election after their leaders were arrested and offices closed.
War broke out in the Tigray region in November 2020, after Ahmed ordered a military response to an attack on a federal army base by the region’s opposition-aligned ruling party.
Ethiopian forces and those from neighboring Eritrea have been accused of multiple human rights abuses in Tigray since the onset of violence, but Ahmed’s government has denied the allegations.