Ethiopia’s government—the ruling coalition of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)—has overseen economic growth and some reduction in poverty since ousting Mengistu Haile Mariam’s “Derg” military regime in 1991.
Between 1998 and 2000, war with neighboring Eritrea disrupted Ethiopia’s economic development efforts, and Official Development Assistance (ODA) briefly dried up. The end of tensions renewed the government’s focus on economic growth and poverty. International donors, impressed with the country’s economic progress, stepped up financial aid to assist the transition and reconstruction. This reached an all-time high of US$3.3 billion in 2008, the last year for which data are available, and amounts are projected to rise.
This increased financing, together with the Ethiopian government’s commitment to growth and tackling poverty, has led to impressive gains when it comes to meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on poverty reduction, according to Ethiopian government and UN data. Yet despite the apparent progress, Ethiopia remains one of the world’s poorest countries, where international relief assistance and food aid is required to feed between 10 and 20 percent of the population each year.
The Architecture of Repression: The EPRDF State
You have to understand that at the grassroots level, everything is organized according to the EPRDF ideology. Everything is organized and controlled by cells.
—Teacher, Gonder, September 18, 2009
The EPRDF is a coalition of four ethnic parties (from the main regions: Oromia, Amhara, Tigray, and SNNPR) dominated by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The TPLF was a secular Marxist revolutionary movement and, along with the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF), principally responsible for the Derg’s military defeat.
The struggle against the Derg was waged against a backdrop of poverty and famine. The 1984 famine in Tigray and Wollo that garnered world attention was a key event in the civil war and the history of the TPLF. From the outset, the TPLF was deeply concerned with the politics of food and development, working with farmers to provide agricultural inputs and improve yields. The TPLF understood the importance of peasant support and had a reasonable record of engaging and respecting civilians.
The TPLF—now EPRDF—ideology is organized around the principle of “Revolutionary Democracy,” which holds that the party is both the engine of development and the forum for debate and democracy. Individual rights are subordinate to broader societal and governmental concerns; collective rights are privileged over individual ones and—unlike liberal democracy that relies on elected representatives—the population is to be continually engaged in the decision-making process.  Prime Minister Meles has described the term’s meaning:
When Revolutionary Democracy permeates the entire society, individuals will start to think alike and all persons will cease having their own independent outlook. In this order, individual thinking becomes simply part of collective thinking because the individual will not be in a position to reflect on concepts that have not been prescribed by Revolutionary Democracy.
After the terror of the Derg regime, the EPRDF established a nominally multi-party democratic government. Furthermore, the 1995 constitution incorporated a wide range of human rights standards, including many of Ethiopia’s international treaty obligations.
But despite these initial promising signs, the EPRDF’s human rights record has become increasingly oppressive, and democracy a hollow concept in a country steered by a powerful party-driven government in which the distinction between party and state is almost impossible to define.
Except for a brief period during the 2005 general election, the government has severely restricted the rights to freedom of expression and association, arbitrarily detained political opponents, intimidated journalists, shuttered media outlets, and made independent human rights and elections monitoring practically impossible. Citizens are unable to speak freely, organize political activities, or challenge government policies without fear of reprisal. Key state institutions and representative bodies, such as parliament and woreda and kebele councils, have become politicized and fallen under the ruling party’s control. State officials face little accountability for the abuses they commit.
At the core of the government’s ability to control ordinary rural and urban Ethiopians is the local-level kebele, an administrative structure originally used for development and land reform for millions of rural peasants. Inherited from the Derg and used by the TPLF during the civil war, the kebele has since become a useful method of control and political repression.
The April 2008 local elections proved to be a milestone in consolidating control at the local level in both rural and urban areas. Before the elections, the government vastly expanded the number of seats on kebele and woreda councils, increasing kebele seats from 15 to 300 for a total of between 3.5 and 4 million candidates. Only the EPRDF was able to field candidates in all constituencies, and most opposition groups boycotted the elections. That meant that when the EPRDF won over 99.9 percent of the kebele and woreda seats, the ruling party had total control of the rural majority of the Ethiopian population. As one opposition leader explained to Human Rights Watch:
There are seven cabinet members in the kebele administration…. If you see the political affiliation of all of these persons, no one not in the ruling party can assume these positions—except possibly teachers. This structure is there to tie the farmer-peasant hand to foot.
The Structure of the Kebele
The kebele council is the primary unit of representation at the village or neighborhood level, and is comprised exclusively of party members. Kebele administration is in the hands of a seven- or eight-member kebele cabinet, theoretically elected by the council, and kebele officials, including a kebele manager. Kebele officials determine eligibility for food assistance, make referrals for secondary health care, provide recommendations for jobs and educational opportunities, and control access to state-distributed resources such as seeds, fertilizers, credit, and other essential agricultural inputs. They also run the community social courts, which deal with minor claims and disputes, as well as local prisons and, in some places, local militia that are used to maintain law and order. 
Citizens must go to k ebele officials for a whole range of administrative functions, including any kind of government documentation. In some cases, citizens must seek kebele permission to repair their home. If the kebele authorities do not consider a citizen favorably, daily life can become extremely difficult.
In many areas, there are also now sub- kebele structures—cells comprising between 30 and 90 households. Below these is another tier of cells of five households, each one headed by a ruling party member, sometimes attended by armed militiamen answerable to the kebele chairman. Human Rights Watch documented the existence of these cells prior to the 2005 and 2010 elections, and their use to organize forced labor of farmers, compel attendance at political meetings, and monitor speech and association. 
Rural inhabitants described a local structure in which the leader of each cell was a ruling party member, and all the civil servants in the kebele were ruling party members. A 2009 International Crisis Group report noted:
Neighbourhood-level “cadres” report minor occurrences to kebelle officials, including residents’ whereabouts and visitors. According to many, “their main task is to monitor the people, spy on people and report to the kebelle.” Barely visible to outsiders and foreigners, this party control discourages dissent and constantly reminds people who is in charge. It allows the EPRDF to keep a tight grip on opposition supporters and reward its own.
For example, kebele officials control access to land, even though it is supposed to be periodically redistributed so that adults who want to cultivate will get their fair share. As a result, local officials can both deprive farmers at any time of legal access to their farms and harvest the land they cultivated, without any real possibility to appeal.
Furthermore, as the state and the ruling party have become fused, the interests of the government and the EPRDF have become virtually inseparable. Local officials, often with little understanding of, or sympathy for, the peasantry, rely entirely on the party for survival and “do not distinguish between the state, which they claim to represent on a local level, the party that supports them and their own positions and power.”  As one kebele official said during the 2000 elections, “You are voting for the opposition? All right, ask your party to give you land. The constitution says the state owns the rural land. We don’t give land to those who are not loyal to us.” 
Voting in such an environment is not simply a matter of political preference, but of life and death. Supporting the ruling party can bring economic and social benefits, including access to development assistance. On the other hand, voting for the opposition may result in loss of land, resources, jobs and education, and the very means of survival for oneself and one’s family.
EPRDF and Elections
The EPRDF’s record on multi-party democracy is poor.
The 1992 woreda, or district, elections were largely uncontested, but where opposition parties did contest seats—such as in Oromia region—there was intimidation and violence, including assaults on opposition candidates and supporters, threats against their families, and arbitrary detention and closure of party offices by authorities.
In 1995 and 2000, the EPRDF dominated polls in federal and regional elections. Opposition parties, which criticized the uneven playing field, mostly boycotted the elections, but did win several dozen seats in the main assembly, the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
The 2005 elections were a different story. Despite some significant problems, the campaign and elections were, until one month prior to the polls, the most open in Ethiopia’s history. Opposition parties were able to campaign, at least in Addis Ababa and other key urban centers, access national government-controlled media, and hold rallies, while civil society organizations conducted extensive voter education efforts.  But when opposition supporters protested perceived irregularities in the vote counting, the government carried out a vicious crackdown that resulted in 200 people killed and over 30,000 people detained.  The opposition eventually won around one-third of the seats in parliament but many of the new opposition members of parliament refused to take their seats following the post-election crackdown.
Among those detained were most of the opposition leadership, prominent journalists, and several civil society activists who were arrested and charged with, among other things, treason and “outrages against the constitutional order.” Almost two years later, after a lengthy, flawed trial in which all of the defendants except two civil society activists refused to recognize the court or mount a legal defense, they were convicted but subsequently pardoned and eventually released from prison. In December 2008, the government rearrested and revoked the pardon of Birtukan Midekssa, the leader of the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ), for allegedly violating the terms of her pardon. UN experts in December 2009 determined that her detention was arbitrary in violation of international law. She was released in October 2010.
Between 2005 and the next parliamentary elections in 2010, the government waged a sustained and coordinated campaign against students, teachers, journalists, nongovernmental organizations and opposition supporters using a variety of legislative and extra-legal measures to increase the general population’s support for, and dependence on, the ruling party. The strategy succeeded.
The 2008 local elections delivered over 99 percent of the available seats in woreda and kebele councils to the ruling party, cementing EPRDF control at the local level.  The EPRDF then swept the national elections of May 23, 2010, garnering 99.6 percent of the seats. Opposition parties won just one of the 547 parliamentary seats.  European election observers concluded the electoral process “fell short of certain international commitments, notably regarding the transparency of the process and the lack of a level playing field for all contesting parties.” 
Donor-EPRDF Relations: 2005-2010
The 2005 crackdown set alarm bells ringing in the offices of foreign donors.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was in 2005 a member of the British government’s “Commission for Africa,” alongside the United Kingdom’s then-prime minister, Tony Blair, and chancellor, Gordon Brown. The violence and negative publicity was embarrassing for the British government and other donors, such as the World Bank and the European Union, which had generously funded the EPRDF with direct budget support.
On November 11, 2005, the World Bank and donor partners in the Development Assistance Group (DAG), a consortium of all major donors to Ethiopia, suspended direct budget support to the Ethiopian government, committing instead to:
(i) Move away from direct budget support in favor of alternative instruments that would provide greater oversight over poverty reducing expenditures and promote increased accountability; (ii) reduce aid over time if governance does not improve; and (iii) focus on new governance programs.
The World Bank stated that it based its decision to freeze budgetary support on the view that “in an increasingly divided environment, a new instrument was needed to ensure that resource flows to local authorities could be protected from political capture through an enhanced set of checks and balances.”
Donors feared that in the polarized political context of the 2005 post-election violence, the government might manipulate aid to shore up the ruling party’s hegemony. At the same time, they were keen to continue investing in Ethiopia’s economic growth and supporting improvements in human development indicators.
The solution proposed for the years 2006-2008 in the World Bank’s Interim Country Assistance Strategy (ICAS)—the strategy that set the parameters for assistance to Ethiopia—was to focus the bank’s engagement on governance because, it argued, gains in service delivery and infrastructure “are contingent on the extent to which problems of political governance have the potential to adversely impact the development agenda.”
In practice, this focus on governance meant more capacity building of regional administrations and federal government institutions, including parliament. It also led to the Protection of Basic Services (PBS) program, a new instrument for supporting basic service delivery that aimed to channel money to regional and district governments instead of to the federal government.  Approved by the World Bank on May 25, 2006, PBS I ran until December 2009. It was succeeded by PBS II, which was approved on May 14, 2009, and will run until December 2011. 
PBS was designed to work hand-in-hand with other World Bank programs, such as the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), a food-for-work program, and the Public Sector Capacity Building Programme (PSCAP), both of which were operating before 2005. PBS’s money was intended to supplement government spending in five sectors: roads, health, education, water, and agricultural extension.
The strategy of providing funds to district governments rather than to the federal budget was seen as a way to avoid political risks. But giving money to district governments carried precisely the same risks. While Ethiopia’s national government created the repressive policies, district governments actually implemented them; meanwhile, foreign donors found it hard to monitor and detect misuse of funds at the local level.
The World Bank’s 2006-2008 Interim Country Assistance Strategy noted that the biggest challenge was to “separate political parties from the state.” The World Bank also warned against “weak and eroding institutional checks and balances increasing the risk of capture of decentralization, block grants and the civil service. It concluded that it would seek to adjust its support if the political context worsened and these risks increased, “both to help the country address the risks, and to manage the level of resources entering an environment that may not be conducive to development.”
But as the political context deteriorated in exactly the way described, the bank did not adjust its support. Instead, just two years later, in 2008, it issued a new Country Assistance Strategy (CAS). While noting serious concerns when it came to national political issues, it claimed that Ethiopia had shown “progress in long-term institution building and gradual improvements in governance, perhaps most notably in terms of the transparency and accountability of basic service delivery by local governments.” The bank asserted this progress and made no comment on its earlier concern regarding the potential for the misuse of funds for political purposes.  The CAS also argued for a resumption of direct budget support “once donors and Government agree conditions are appropriate.”  As the money started to flow again, the donors ignored their earlier concerns about Ethiopia’s governance problems.
Rather than express caution about providing assistance in a highly politicized environment, the 2008-2011 CAS turned the problem around, presenting the government’s undemocratic character as a technical challenge rather than a question of political will, and a problem that could be addressed with increased financial support. The strategy further urged:
Democratic practices at the local level need to take deeper root. More broadly, the media and civil society organizations need to mature and a greater space needs to be created for them, and the effectiveness of national level accountability mechanisms, such as parliamentary oversight committees, courts, and the public audit system, need further strengthening. Progress in these areas will naturally take time, but it deserves sustained attention as transparency and accountability are critical for sustaining the “dual take-off” in the long run.
The suggestion that the government that could reform if given enough time seriously mischaracterized events in Ethiopia after 2005 when—as Human Rights Watch, other organizations, and independent academics reported at the time—there was no genuine possibility for meaningful reform on governance, and democratic space was closing. And yet billions of dollars of development assistance were premised on an unfounded assumption that Ethiopia was moving in a democratic direction. In fact, Ethiopia is a one-party state, where government action in nearly every sphere is directed at promoting EPRDF’s political control, repressing opponents, and suppressing dissent—in exactly the way the 2006 World Bank document had feared.
 For a detailed description of abuses during the three decades of internal conflict beginning in 1961, see Africa Watch (now Human Rights Watch/Africa), Evil Days: 30 Years of War and Famine in Ethiopia (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1991), http://www.hrw.org/node/78194. On progress toward the Millennium Development Goals, see United Nations Development Programme, “Millennium Development Goals in Ethiopia,” http://www.et.undp.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=30&Itemid=113 (accessed August 16, 2010) and footnote below.
 For OECD figures on ODA, see Table 1 below. The last year for which OECD statistics are available is 2008. See also Hendrik van der Heijden, “Accelerating Development in Ethiopia: Suggested Road Map for Scaling Up External Financing and Aid,” Government of Ethiopia/Development Assistance Group, June 1, 2007, http://dagethiopia.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=38&Itemid=120 (accessed October 11, 2010).
 The Millennium Development Goals were established by the United Nations in 2000. See United Nations, “United Nations Millennium Development Goals,” http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals (accessed April 26, 2010). For a summary of Ethiopia’s recent progress toward these goals, see UN Stats, “Millennium Development Goals Indicators: Ethiopia,” http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Data.aspx (accessed April 26, 2010); see also Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, “Ethiopia: 2010 MDGs Report: Trends and Prospects for Meeting MDGs by 2015,” September 2010, http://www.undp.org/africa/documents/mdg/ethiopia_september2010.pdf (accessed October 11, 2010). These figures are all based on Ethiopian government data and are contested by other sources. See, for example, Alemayhu G. Mariam, “The Voodoo Economics of Meles Zenawi,” Huffington Post, April 18, 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alemayehu-g-mariam/ethiopia-the-voodoo-econo_b_542298.html (accessed September 13, 2010); and Economist Intelligence Unit, “Ethiopia: Country Outlook,” July 1, 2010, http://www.ciaonet.org/atlas/ET/Economy/Outlook/20100701_39364.html (accessed September 13, 2010).
 United Nations Development Programme, “Human Development Report 2009 – Ethiopia,” http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/country_fact_sheets/cty_fs_ETH.html (accessed June 17, 2010); and Human Rights Watch interviews with aid agency officials (USAID, WFP, EU, OCHA), Addis Ababa, June and September 2009.
 For background, see Aregawi Berhe, A Political History of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, 1975–1991 (London: Tsehai Publishers, 2009); and Siegfried Pausewang, Kjetil Tronvoll, and Lovise Aalen, eds., Ethiopia Since the Derg: A Decade of Democratic Pretension and Performance (London: Zed Books, 2002).
 See Alex de Waal, Famine Crimes: Politics & the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa (London: Zed Books, 1997). The TPLF has also been accused of diverting some of the relief efforts to pay for weapons. See Martin Plaut, “Assignment: Aid for Arms in Ethiopia,” BBC News, March 7, 2010, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p006dyn3 (accessed April 9, 2010); and Berhe, A Political History of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, 1975-1991.
 See “Our Revolutionary Democratic Goals and the Next Step,” Ethiopian Register, 1996, p. 20, on file with Human Rights Watch. See also René Lefort, “Powers – Mengist – and Peasants in Rural Ethiopia: the Post-2005 Interlude,” Journal of Modern African Studies, vol. 48, no. 3, 2010, p. 442: “EPRDF presents the ‘revolutionary democracy’ through which it has supposedly ruled Ethiopia since 1991 as ‘unique and different’ in two main ways from a classical ‘liberal democracy’. First, it aims to secure collective rights, starting with the rights of the ‘nations, nationalities and peoples’ of Ethiopia, while pushing individual rights into the background. Second, a ‘liberal’ democratic system is largely ‘representative’: ‘the political stage is occupied by a few politicians… who substitute for the public at large’, while with the revolutionary democracy, ‘the social forces of the peasants, laborers and majority city dwellers’ are ‘consciously and uninterruptedly engaged’ in the decision making process.”
 Meles Zenawi, “Perspectives and ‘Bonapartism,’” in The Gimgema Papers, 2001 (cited by Paolos Milkias, “The Great Purge and Ideological Paradox in Contemporary Ethiopian Politics,” Horn of Africa, vol. 19, 2001).
 Ethiopia’s constitution includes the rights to freedom of thought, opinion, and expression (art. 29) and freedom of association (art. 31), which is limited only when associations “undertake acts that needlessly subvert the rule of law and constitutional rule.” During the 1991-94 transitional period, Ethiopia ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
See Human Rights Watch, Ethiopia: The Curtailment of Rights, vol. 9, no. 8(A), December 1997, http://www.hrw.org/node/78531; Human Rights Watch, Lessons in Repression: Violations of Academic Freedom in Ethiopia, vol. 15, no. 2(A), January 2003, http://www.hrw.org/node/12373; Human Rights Watch, Targeting the Anuak: Human Rights Violations and Crimes against Humanity in Ethiopia’s Gambella Region, vol. 17, no. 3 (A), March 2005, http://www.hrw.org/node/11813; Human Rights Watch, Suppressing Dissent: Human Rights Abuses and Political Repression in Ethiopia’s Oromia Region, vol. 17, no. 7(A), May 2005, http://www.hrw.org/node/11760; “Ethiopia: Crackdown Spreads Beyond Capital,” Human Rights Watch news release, June 14, 2005, http://www.hrw.org/node/70541; “Ethiopia: Hidden Crackdown in Rural Areas,” Human Rights Watch news release, January 11, 2006, http://www.hrw.org/node/69871; “People Fleeing Somalia War Secretly Detained,” Human Rights Watch news release, March 29, 2007, http://www.hrw.org/node/72239; Human Rights Watch, Shell-Shocked: Civilians Under Siege in Mogadishu, vol.19, no. 12(A), August 2007, http://www.hrw.org/node/10784; “Ethiopia: Repression Sets Stage for Non-Competitive Elections,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 9, 2008,http://www.hrw.org/node/74763; Human Rights Watch, Collective Punishment: War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in the Ogaden Area of Ethiopia’s Somali Region, ISBN: 1-56432-322-6, June 2008, http://www.hrw.org/node/62176; Human Rights Watch, “Analysis of Ethiopia’s Draft Civil Society Law,” October 13, 2008, http://www.hrw.org/node/88963; Human Rights Watch, “Why Am I Still Here?”: The 2007 Horn of Africa Renditions and the Fate of Those Still Missing, ISBN: 1-56432-380-3, October 1, 2008, http://www.hrw.org/node/75259; “Ethiopia: Charge or Free Ethnic Oromo Terrorism Suspects: Detainees Held Weeks Without Charge,” Human Rights Watch news release, November 27, 2008, http://www.hrw.org/node/76375; Human Rights Watch, So Much to Fear: War Crimes and the Devastation of Somalia, ISBN: 1-56432-415-X, December 8, 2008, http://www.hrw.org/node/76419; Human Rights Watch, “An Analysis of Ethiopia’s Draft Anti-Terrorism Law,” June 30, 2009,http://www.hrw.org/node/84132; Human Rights Watch, “One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure”: Violations of Freedom of Expression and Association in Ethiopia, ISBN: 1-56432-610-1, March 2010, http://www.hrw.org/node/89128.
 See Human Rights Watch, “One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure.”
 Human Rights Watch, Ethiopia: The Curtailment of Rights, p. 8.
 National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, “Official Results of the Local Elections and By-Elections Held on April 13 and April 20, 2008,” document on file with Human Rights Watch; see also Lovise Aalen and Kjetil Tronvoll, “The End of Democracy? Curtailing Political and Civil Rights in Ethiopia,” Review of African Political Economy, vol. 36, June 1, 2009, p. 203.
 Human Rights Watch interview with opposition leader, Addis Ababa, September 25, 2009.
 Each woreda is made up of a varying number of kebeles; the woredas are the constituencies for parliamentary seats. For further description of the kebele system and its role in rural communities, see Human Rights Watch, Suppressing Dissent; and Human Rights Watch, “One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure.” See also René Lefort, “A short survey of the relationship between powers and peasants in a peasant community of Northern Shoa,” Nord-Sud Aktuell, Quartal 2005, p. 211-221; and Lefort, “Powers – Mengist – and Peasants in Rural Ethiopia: the Post-2005 Interlude,” Journal of Modern African Studies.
 See Human Rights Watch, Suppressing Dissent, p. 30; and Human Rights Watch, “One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure,” p. 22. For an overview of the current kebele structure, see International Crisis Group, “Ethiopia: Ethnic Federalism and Its Discontents,” Africa ReportNo.153, September 4, 2009, pp. 18-19, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/africa/horn-of-africa/ethiopia-eritrea/153-ethiopia-ethnic-federalism-and-its-discontents.aspx (accessed April 26, 2010).
 Human Rights Watch interviews, Ethiopia, June-October 2009.
 International Crisis Group, “Ethiopia: Ethnic Federalism and Its Discontents,” p. 19.
 Siegfried Pausewang, “Ethiopia: a political view from below,” South African Journal of International Affairs, vol. 16, issue no. 1, 2009, pp. 69-85.
 Pausewang, Aalen, and Tronvoll, eds., Ethiopia Since the Derg.
 National Democratic Institute for International Affairs/African-American Institute, “An Evaluation of the June 21, 1992 Elections in Ethiopia,” June 1992, http://www.ndi.org/node/12625 (accessed October 11, 2010). For background on political competition and repression in Oromia, see Human Rights Watch, Suppressing Dissent, pp. 9-10.
 For a detailed analysis of the first decade of elections, see Pausewang, Tronvoll, and Aalen, eds., Ethiopia Since the Derg; Leonardo R. Arriola, “Ethnicity, Economic Conditions, and Opposition Support: Evidence from Ethiopia’s 2005 Elections,” Northeast African Studies, vol. 10, no. 1, 2008, p. 118.
 “Board Chairman Praises Voters and Election Staff,” National Electoral Board of Ethiopia press release, May 15, 2005, http://www.electionsethiopia.org/Whats%20New26.html (accessed February 6, 2010).
 “Ethiopia: Crackdown Spreads Beyond Capital,” Human Rights Watch news release, June 15, 2005.
 Federal Supreme Court Judgment, on file with Human Rights Watch.
 The defendants signed a pardon apologizing for their “attempt to change government organs instituted in accordance with the Constitution, by unconstitutional means.” Unofficial translation of the pardon letter, on file with Human Rights Watch.
 See “Ethiopia: Opposition Leader’s Release Just a First Step,” Human Rights Watch news release, October 6, 2010, http://www.hrw.org/node/93467.
 See Human Rights Watch, “One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure.”
 Lovise Aalen and Kjetil Tronvoll, “The 2008 Local Elections: The Return of Electoral Authoritarianism,” African Affairs, 108/430 (2008).
 An independent candidate won a second seat. National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, “Official Results of the 23rd May 2010 General Election,” http://www.electionethiopia.org/en/ (accessed October 11, 2010).
 International Development Association, World Bank, “Interim Country Assistance Strategy for the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia” (ICAS 2006-2008), report no. 35142-ET, May 1, 2006, p. 2.
 Ibid., p. 3.
 Ibid., p. 1.
 Ibid. The Protection of Basic Services program is introduced in the ICAS on p. 17.
 PBS I was for $2.56 billion and PBS II for $3.36 billion. See Table 3 below for details.
 See section on “Development Programs Vulnerable to Political Capture” for a full description of these programs.
 For an overview of the structure of Ethiopian government institutions and the federal-regional relationship, see International Crisis Group, “Ethiopia: Ethnic Federalism and Its Discontents,” pp. 18-19, and Kjetil Tronvoll and Sarah Vaughan, “Structures and Relations of Power: Ethiopia,” Swedish International Development Agency, 2003.
 ICAS 2006-2008, p. 8.
 Ibid., p. 103.
 Ibid., p. 103.
 Indeed, the 2008 document mentions the phrase “political capture” only once, on page 61, and then goes on to praise the PBS program for continuing to provide financing despite the recent suspension of direct budget support. World Bank, “Country Assistance Strategy for the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia” (CAS 2008-2011), April 2, 2008, p. 61.
 Ibid., p. 18. The CAS noted “concerns about the lack of space for open political discourse” (p. 20) from stakeholder consultations and an assessment by the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group that there had been “weak outcomes on private sector development and mixed outcomes on governance” (p. 19).
 CAS 2008-2011, p. ii.