|Key leaders absent in Ethiopia polls|
|Written by Elizabeth Blunt - BBC|
|Monday, 03 March 2008|
Ethiopians will soon be getting their first chance to vote since the general election in 2005, which ended with violent protests and the jailing of most of the leaders of the opposition.
The opposition CUD coalition won far more seats than any opposition party had ever won before, but they were convinced that the true result should have been even more in their favour.
The CUD leaders were eventually pardoned and released from jail last year, and the government announced that their rights were being fully restored and they were free to vote and stand for office.
But their seats were declared vacant while they were in prison.
There will be by-elections for their old seats in April, and also elections for Addis Ababa city council, which the opposition won, but which has had an appointed caretaker administration since 2005.
But it now appears that none of the imprisoned party leadership will be standing for election again, or trying to get their old seats back.
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