Speaker of Ethiopia’s upper parliament quits over postponed polls

Speaker of Ethiopia’s upper parliament quits over postponed polls

By Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban

(africanews)__Keria Ibrahim, speaker of Ethiopia’s upper parliamentary chamber, the House of federation, has quit her position citing a looming constitutional blank with postponed elections.

Her resignation was announced first by regional Tigray TV. Privately-owned Addis Standard said Keria’s resignation was on the outcome of a Council of Constitutional Inquiry on deferred elections.

According to Tigray Communication Affairs Bureau, Keria resigned from her position refusing to work with those who display unconstitutional & authoritarian practices. She has been in the role since April 2018.

She is quoted as saying she did not want to be part of a system where: “the constitution is being violated and an authoritarian government is being formed.”

Ethiopia, currently under a five-month State of Emergency imposed over the coronavirus pandemic have also postponed the much anticipated polls. The current government’s mandate expires in October and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has recently rejected calls for a transitional government.

The former speaker belongs to the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, TPLF, a former coalition partner of the now defunct Ethiopia Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF; which brought Abiy to power in 2018.

Abiy has since gone on to disband and rebrand it into the Prosperity Party, PP, which the TPLF opposed and refusing to be part of the new party. TPLF is currently the ruling party in the northern Tigray region but technically in opposition with the federal government.

Despite the shelving of polls by the elections body, the TPLF has insisted that elections will be held in the region according to schedule.