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President Obama is criticized for saying Ethiopian government is ‘democratically elected’
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Ethiopian opposition figures have criticized a remark by President Barack Obama that their country, whose ruling party won every seat in parliament in May elections, has a “democratically elected” government.
Yonathan Tesfaye, a spokesman for Ethiopia’s opposition Blue party, said Tuesday that Obama behaved like a “tricky and mischievous politician” when he made the comment a day earlier during a news conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Obama departed Ethiopia on Tuesday to end a two-nation African trip that included a stop in Kenya.
Human rights groups have criticized Obama for visiting Ethiopia, saying his trip lends legitimacy to an oppressive government. Hailemariam has defended Ethiopia’s commitment to democracy.
Ethiopia is the world’s second-worst jailer of journalists in Africa, after Eritrea, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.