CAIRO – 9 September 2020: Ethiopia’s Tigray launched Wednesday its regional election in a gesture of defiance against the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s federal government.
Citizens of the Tigray’s region were seen this morning lining up outside the polling stations to cast their votes in the regional election held despite the refusal of the federal government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
The Ethiopian Tigray People’s Liberation Front decided to undertake the election amid federal calls to postpone the voting process due to the current pandemic of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), however, Mek’ele’s State Council decided to unilaterally start the polls.
Prime Minister Ahmed has been on a collision with the outgoing rulers of Ethiopia since his arrival in the office in 2018.
Ahmed has previously threatened to militarily intervene if Tigray proceeded with its plan to launch a regional election scheduled to be held in June, postponed later due to the current pandemic.
Nevertheless, Ahmed ruled out in August a military intervention and resorted to other punitive measures that were ignored by the officials in Tigray.
Many observers have warned that the confrontation between Ahmed’s federal government and officials in Tigray could end with the disintegration of the Ethiopian State.
Ethiopia is going through an acrimonious dispute between the political parties due to several issues such as the killing of the musician Hachalu Hundessa who is regarded as a folk hero in Oromia region, the latter is considered to be the epicenter of protests that brought Ahmed to power back in 2018.
Other Ethiopian regions have argued that Ahmed’s Prosperity Party has no legal grounds to rule or extend its term due to the absence of an election, calling for a wider inclusion in the decision-making process.