Apr 07, 2020

Coronavirus: Ethiopia Cancels Elections

Representatives of the Oromo people criticize the unilateral decision to postpone elections in Ethiopia because of coronavirus.


Below is an article by borkena.com

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed disclosed that he held a meeting with opposition party leaders, he calls them “competing political parties,” over the Coronavirus situation in the country. 

The impact of the disease on Ethiopia and additional measures that his government will take were key agenda items in the meeting. 

Not all opposition political parties have attended the meeting in the interest of social distancing. Those who did not take part during the first day of the meeting will meet the Prime Minister on Monday. 

“… As we implement social distancing, meeting all parties together is not possible and hence the consultations will proceed in small groups over the two days. I’m thankful for the constructive dialogue of this morning and look forward to the next ones…” he wrote on his Facebook page. 

It is unclear as to what exactly leaders of opposition parties remarked about the impacts of COVID 19 on Ethiopia. All regional state administrations ban Inter-regional public transportation while the Federal government has ordered border closures with six neighboring countries. 

This past week, the National Election Board of Ethiopia announced that it had postponed the general election due to the health emergency. It was scheduled for August this year as the Ethiopian constitution stipulates that election has to be administered before the end of the parliament’s term. Most of the election-related activities, like training election officers and voter registration, were supposed to take place this month.

The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) issued a statement criticizing the Election Board over what they understood as a unilateral decision without the participation of stakeholders. 

The number of COVID 19 patients in Ethiopia has reached 43 people, and two patients have died from it until Sunday. 


Photo: PM Abiy Ahmed meeting with opposition on Sunday in his office