Ethiopia postpones parliamentary elections indefinitely citing plethora of logistical issues, including rainy season

Ethiopia on Saturday postponed planned June 5 parliamentary elections indefinitely citing a plethora of logistical issues, and saying the new date will take into account the rainy season which runs from June to September.

The MPS in Ethiopia, a country of about 110 million people, elect the Prime Minister who is the head of government, as well as the president, a mainly ceremonial role.

“The vote will not happen on June 5,” the head of Ethiopia’s election board Birutkan Mideksa said on Saturday, according to Agence France Presse. “We can’t tell you the date as the board has to examine the inputs it received from parties.”

Mideksa cited many reasons for the election delay, including training electoral staff, printing and distributing ballot papers and finalizing voter registration.

“Practically, it became impossible to deliver all these at the originally slated dates,” news reports quoted her as saying.

Last year, the elections were meant to signify Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s commitment to democratic reforms and reinforce his vision of Ethiopian unity.

Ethiopia has the second largest population on the African continent and holds great economic promise.

But as a brutal conflict in the Tigray region has shaken the international standing of the Abiy regime and further strained ties among Ethiopians, the Prime Minister’s mandate is increasingly in doubt.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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