Election monitors arrive in Ethiopia

Election Observation Team
The 170 representatives from the European Union say they are neutral and will be independent observers.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 19, 2010  (UPI) — The largest international observation mission ever assembled arrived in Ethiopia Wednesday to monitor elections scheduled for this weekend, officials say.

The 170 representatives from the European Union say they are neutral and will be independent observers, Radio France Internationale reports.

The head of the European team, Ana Gomes, has already expressed doubt that the upcoming elections will be democratic.

“I have tried to discourage the European Commission and Council from sending a mission to Ethiopia because the conditions are not there for a genuine election.”

One former election monitor told RFI the European group will face pressure from Ethiopia to write a favorable report.

Ethiopia’s invitation to send election monitors to Addis Ababa was turned down by the Carter Center and other foreign observers.