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Other opposition election observers said the ruling party won the capital by micromanaging the voters. Individual EPRDF supporters, they said, were assigned a small group of potential voters. Their job was to “do whatever it takes” to make sure citizens appeared at the polls, to vote for the EPRDF.

Outside the polls on Election Day, however, EPRDF supporters said they were not intimidated, harassed or pressured to vote for the party. Armed officers in purple fatigues watched voters who stopped to talk to reporters carefully, but did not come close enough to listen to their words.

In the bustling Haya Hulet market the previous evening, while Zoudit Tesfae waited for her jacket to be tailored, she said the ruling party was wildly popular, and does not need to intimidate voters to win. She said the EPRDF has overseen tremendous developments in education and infrastructure in Ethiopia.

Ms. Tesfae also said she was planning to vote for the ruling party because she has bad memories of life under the former Soviet-backed government, known as the Derg. Before the EPRDF ousted the Derg regime in 1991, her mother was forced to hide her sons to protect their lives.

“I don’t want to remember that time,” she said. “I was a child.”