6.04 Emanuele Fantini; Iginio Gagliardone

Beyond the vote liturgy: making sense of Ethiopias 2015 elections : a roundtable

Invited speakers: Jon Abbink, Jean-Nicolas Bach, Rene Lefort, Sarah Vaughan

As widely expected, the 2015 national elections in Ethiopia have been largely uncontested, with the ruling coalition of EPRDF and its allies gaining 100% of the seats in the National Parliament and in the Regional Councils.Such a bold results might bring social scientist interested in contemporary Ethiopian politics to question the relevance and the interests of elections itself, reduced to a mere liturgy to reaffirm EPRDF uncontested rule throughout the country.

In order to make sense and find interesting meanings in such a non event, we believe fruitful to interrogate it from its margins, exploring what the analysis of the 2015 elections could tell us in terms of

-         continuities and transformation in the exercise of political power and in state-society relations at local level;

-         the internal reconfiguration of power within the EPRDF, the dialectic between different ethnic parties, as well as between federal and regional elites;

-         the processes of reconfiguration inside the opposition parties and the space for public organisation of political dissent and political alternatives;

-         narratives, attitudes and quality of the speech in the online Ethiopian sphere;

-         the negotiation process between Government and international donors, between the political conditionality and the technicalities of “good governance” and “electoral assistance”.