By Staff Reporter
May 5, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- The Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) said it will hold a general election in Tigray regional state against the decision passed by the federal parliament to postpone the election due to coronavirus pandemic.
The Executive Committee of TPLF in a resolution issued late Monday said the region’s governing party will conduct the election in the state by August and announced preparations to do so.
As the discord between Addis and Mekelle continues to heighten, TPLF said the pandemic created a good opportunity for the ruling Prosperity Party to cement a one-man rule and to strengthen the party’s hidden agenda of extending office term “unconstitutionally.”
In a five-point resolution issued at the end of the three-day meeting (May1-32020), the TPLF also accused Prosperity Party of attempting to postpone the general elections even before the COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed in the country.
Last week, the government presented four legal options to resolve the constitutional crisis it might face due to differing the general elections as proposed by the country’s National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE).
The government presented the four legal options namely dissolving the parliament; declaring a state of emergency; amending the constitution, and seeking constitutional interpretations at a special meeting attended by majority of competing political parties.
In its resolution, the TPLF further said that it has now become clear that “under the guise of constitutional interpretation the party in power is nearing to dismantle the constitutional order.”
Accordingly, the TPLF demanded an immediate end of the Prosperity Party’s “explicit movement to undo the constitutional order under the pretext of constitutional interpretation.
It called on the federal government to coordinate efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 as well as to conduct the elections within the framework of the constitution in a participatory manner involving all political parties.
TPLF said it would be more than willing to work with political parties that are willing to conducting regional elections, in order to avert the impending chaos.
TPLF’s resolution also called on both members of the House of People’s Representatives and House of Federation to stop threatening to dismantle the constitutional order in a broad daylight and advised them to distance themselves from such acts.
TPLF also stated its commitment to work with all political parties which have similar agenda in its efforts “to help save the federal order."
If indeed the TPLF proceeds to hold the general elections alone, separate from other regions, it will mark yet another milestone in the deteriorating relations between Addis Ababa and Mekelle. The federal government has not yet responded to this development, but it seems to be the beginning of a constitutional crisis that may have serious implications for relations between the central government and Tigray going forward.
The TPLF did not disclose how exactly the elections will be held and under whose supervision. Many observers expect the TPLF to retain all parliamentary seats and its government control over Tigray. By holding the elections solo, regardless of its merit, the TPLF may claim a new mandate from the Tigrayan people and upholding the constitution. The real question is, however, whether such election will be recognized by the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), an organization duly mandated by the federal government and the constitution to oversee all elections.
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