This article assesses political developments in Ethiopia after its 2005 federal and regional watershed elections. Although an unprecedented liberalisation took place ahead of the contested and controversial 2005 polls, a crack-down occurred in the wake of the elections, when the opposition was neutralised. Subsequently, the Government rolled out a deliberate plan to prevent any future large-scale protest against their grip on power by establishing an elaborate administrative structure of control; developing new legislative instruments of suppression; and finally curbing any electoral opposition as seen in the conduct of the 2008 local elections. As a result, Ethiopia has by 2008 returned firmly into the camp of authoritarian regimes.