Ethiopia’s top opposition figure turns down invitation to Obama State Dinner

Yilikal Getnet, chairman of the Blue Party


Invitations to a state dinner are typically among the most coveted of all invites.

Not this time, at least not for a leading opposition figure in Ethiopia.

Yilikal Getnet, chairman of the Blue Party, turned down an invitation to attend the state dinner with Obama, saying it would amount to taking part in a 'luxurious dinner while millions suffer in Ethiopia."

Yilikal told the local paper Negere Ethiopia that he also made the decision "after watching President Obama saying that the ruling party in Ethiopia is elected democratically."

The country's ruling coalition won a sweeping victory in parliamentary elections in May that Western nations criticized as unfair.