Next General Elections Should Proceed as Planned: Tigray State

By Staff Reporter

Tigray-Lia-KassaApril 28, 2020 ( -- Tigray regional state of Ethiopia said the country’s general election, which is set on August 29, 2020, should proceed as planned amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The region’s stance comes after the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) requested the national parliament to consider deferring the elections, claiming its pre-election activities were affected due to COVID-19.

“We know the negative impact of COVID-19 on the general elections but considering the critical political crisis that might occur as a result of deferring the election, the election must take place as per the schedule even in worst situations due to the pandemic, said Lia Kassa Communication Head of the regional government.

“Using the pandemic as an excuse, political decisions have been made defying the constitution. We have observed limitations from the government in helping the NEBE to execute responsibilities,” she said.

She said Ethiopia had conducted a number of general elections in difficult times including in 2000 during the Ethio-Eritrean war.

Public Relations Head of NEBE Soliana Tadesse said it is impossible to conduct the general elections as per the schedule as all regional states including the Tigray region declared a state of emergencies, ban movement of people, and impose dozens of restrictions to stem the spread of the virus.

“The health and safety of voters, candidates, and election officials are paramount,” Soliana added.

But Lia said the regional government does not want an illegitimate government lead the country after next August,

Meanwhile, Ethiopia has confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 out of the 1080 samples tested over the past 24 hours.

The two confirmed cases are British nationals, including a four-year-old boy, who came from the UK and were in mandatory quarantine.

The total number of confirmed cases in Ethiopia now is 126. Fatalities remain at 3, with overall test count stands at 15, 668.

So far 50 people have been discharged after they recovered from the virus.

In another news, five people were killed and two others wounded by unidentified gunmen in the Bati district of the Afar region of eastern Ethiopia.

The administrator of the Bati district Mohamed Abdu told local media that unidentified gunmen killed the people (traders) after they forced them to step down from a car.

 “The traders were killed because of nothing but their ethnicity,” the administrator said adding “the killers still are at large.”

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