Ethiopian General Elections Postponed Due to Coronavirus: NEBE

By Staff Reporter

Ethiopian-elections-postponedApril 1, 2020 (Ezega.com) --- The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has postponed the much anticipated general elections which were set to be held late August this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The board in a statement said coronavirus situations and the series of measures taken by the federal and regional governments infringed the board’s schedule to carry out pre-election activities.

In February this year, the board announced the national elections would take place on August 29, 2020, following consultations with political parties and concerned stakeholders.

In its four-point resolution, the board, however, said it froze time table and ceased its all activities following an assessment it had conducted on the impact of COVID-19 on its operational plans.

The board said it will introduce new elections operational plans and time table after the challenge evolving the spread of COVID-19 is addressed. The board did not mention when it would resume operations to run the general elections.

The board said the decision was made after a brief study was conducted on the impact of the pandemic on per-elections activities and possible impact on the general elections as well as consultations with the Ministry of Health, partners and political parties.

Following a consultation held with political parties, most of them took into account the magnitude of the problem posed by COVID-19 and its impact on the elections processes, it added.

 “The international partner organizations that support the board; most of them have made their employees work at home and some of them have returned to their country,” said the NEBE.

The 2020 election would have been the sixth for Ethiopia since the now-defunct Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) took power. The country holds a parliamentary vote every five years according to the current constitution that came into effect in 1994.

The Ethiopian constitution states that the Ethiopian general elections should be conducted a month before the end of the term of the parliament which is due September

The Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), who have been insisting for the timely conduct of the elections as per the schedule did not comment yet.

The board has sent a copy of its decision to the parliament which is in charge to making final decisions.

However, actions that are necessary for the next elections, which could not be impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic in the country will be underway, said the election Board.

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