Ethiopia rejects Tigray region’s call for election, citing pandemic

Ethiopia rejects Tigray region’s call for election, citing pandemic

Dawit Endeshaw

ADDIS ABABA, June 24 (Reuters) – Ethiopia rejected a request by its northernmost Tigray region on Wednesday to hold elections in August due to the coronavirus outbreak, likely widening the gulf between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the ruling Prosperity Party.

The TPLF, the governing party of the region, split acrimoniously from the national Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition last year when its three other parties merged to form the new Prosperity Party.

The Horn of Africa country in March postponed parliamentary and regional elections scheduled for August due to the coronavirus. The TPLF said last month it would go ahead with elections in Tigray.

“Because of COVID-19 there are no favourable conditions to hold elections,” the National Electoral Board said in an Amharic-language statement.

It also said that Tigray’s regional council did not have the mandate to hold elections.

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