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THE WEEK AHEAD

ADDIS ABABA : A Chance to Vote

June 16, 1992

For the first time in their history, Ethiopians will go to the polls on Sunday to vote in democratic elections.

The polling fulfills a pledge made in May, 1991, by the rebel Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front when it took over the government.

But the voting has already been postponed once because of ethnic clashes. Even now, voting in parts of the south and east of the country will be deferred until later. These regions are still roiled by conflicts between the EPRDF-led government and factions led by the Oromo and other tribes.

The rest of the country will be electing representatives to regional parliaments.

Ruled for centuries by a series of emperors and then by a Marxist junta from 1974 to 1991, the country has never had free elections.

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