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Ethiopia's ruling party and its allies have won 99.6 per cent of parliamentary seats in the country's elections.

The victory means that Meles Zenawi, the prime minister, and his Revolutionary Democratic Front party, will have been in power for almost 25 years by the time of the next election.

Thousands of Zenawi's supporters took to the streets of the country's capital, Addis Ababa, to celebrate his election victory.

But opposition parties have insisted that the vote was fraudulent and some have called for a re-run.

Importantly, however, they say they will not call for mass public protests like those that followed the last election in 2005, when Zenawi was declared the winner even though early results had favoured the opposition.

During those protests at least 200 people were killed and tens of thousands arrested.

Just what do these election results and the calls for a fresh vote mean for the country? Has Zenawi been a source of stability in a volatile area?

Inside Story, with presenter Mike Hanna, discusses with guests: Bereket Simon, the Ethiopian minister of government communications; Jawar Mohammed, an independent researcher and regular commentator on Ethiopian affairs; and Leslie Lefkow, a senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Wednesday, May 26, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera