Ethiopia delays elections again due to security and logistical concerns | Ethiopia News

The electoral council said delays in opening polling stations and registering voters delayed polling day.

Ethiopia has again delayed its national elections after some opposition parties say they will not participate and a conflict in the country’s Tigray region means no votes are held there, further complicating Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s efforts to centralize power.

Birtukan Mideksa, chairman of the National Electoral Council of Ethiopia (NEBE), “said delays in opening polling stations and registering voters have pushed back polling day,” the news agency reported on Saturday. official press Fana.

Mideksa told Reuters news agency that the elections would not take place on June 5 as planned.

“We will let everyone [know] to know how many extra weeks or days to complete the delayed tasks… It would not be more than three weeks, ”she added.

Mideksa cited a plethora of logistical delays, such as finalizing voter registration, training election officials, printing and distributing ballots.

“Practically it has become impossible to deliver all of this on the dates originally planned,” she said.

Within weeks of the election, there had been few signs of campaigning and several opposition parties were planning to boycott the vote, calling it a “farce”.

Ethiopians fleeing ongoing fighting in the Tigray region carry their belongings after crossing the Setit River on the Sudan-Ethiopia border [File: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters]

The vote was originally scheduled for August last year but was postponed for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which ruled the northern region at the time, resisted the postponement and held its regional elections in September.

This is a factor that led to the conflict between the TPLF and the central government in Addis Ababa, which has been going on since early November.

The fighting in Tigray has claimed thousands of lives and led the United States to claim that “ethnic cleansing” against the Tigrayans was underway in the western part of the region, which is home to some six million people.

The prime minister, who introduced sweeping political reforms after taking office in 2018 and won the Nobel Peace Prize the following year, has repeatedly vowed that this election will be free and fair.

Abiy will retain his post if his prosperity party wins a majority of seats in the National Assembly.

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