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Ethiopia postpones elections in June

The head of the Ethiopian Election Commission announced on Saturday that it would not be possible to hold elections on June 5 in Ethiopia.

Elections in Ethiopia in June have been postponed indefinitely. The image is from the 2015 elections in the capital, Addis Ababa. Photo gallery.picture: Mulugeata Ayene / AP / TT

No new date will be announced for the elections to the national parliament and regional parliaments, and the reason presented is the increase in logistical difficulties.

– The elections will not take place on the fifth of next June, and a (new) date cannot be set, because the commission must review the views of the parties, as its president, Berukan Medexa, says.

It says this includes voter registration, electoral staff training, and ballot paper printing and distribution.

Practically speaking, it is impossible to get all of this up to the original date, she says, adding that they will take into account the upcoming rainy season – which falls between June and September – when a new election date is set.

The fact that the country of about 110 million people planned to hold the June elections despite repeated clashes in the Tigray region did not spark criticism, and parts of the opposition previously stated that they did not intend to participate.

And earlier in the day, the Ethiopian military also announced that it had deployed a force of more than 300 men, according to information from members of the former ruling party in the Tigray region who tried to enter the country from neighboring Sudan.

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“Some of them succumbed to thirst on the road, and some were arrested, and those who refused to leave were beaten by the army,” said General Tesfai Ayalu.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered an attack on Tigray in November of last year after allegations that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Ethiopia, which controls the state, had attacked army bases. Since then, the fighting has continued, and testimonies of massacres, violations, and indiscriminate killings have been received from the area.