Here's my response (sent on May 24), some of which appears in Malone's story, "Ethiopia's Meles on course for landslide election win":
I have not yet heard the results, but assuming a large EPRDF victory I would say the central issue for the future of Ethiopia is how the government over the next five years will allow for more political competition. Prime Minister Meles, in a May 20 interview with Al-Jazeera, stated without qualification that he will retire at the end of this term. He added that the old generation of the EPRDF will also retire. This will open the doors for competition both within the EPRDF and among its political opponents. It is essential that both supporters and opponents of the EPRDF take advantage of this situation in a constructive way to ensure that democracy makes serious progress in Ethiopia. If that happens, it could be the EPRDF's most important legacy. If it fails, it may relegate the EPRDF to the dust bin of history.The quote also appears in a Reuters blog post by David Clarke, titled "Thousands celebrate Ethiopia election landslide win."