By Staff Reporter
June 26, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) on Wednesday refuted the request forwarded to by the Tigray state’s council to organize a regional election.
NEBE’s refusal comes after the council of Tigray had notified the board of its decision to conduct the 6th regional election.
The regional council also requested the board to accept its decision and make the necessary preparations, including manpower and logistics, to organize the election.
The board in a statement said it will not conduct elections in any part of the country until the coronavirus pandemic is deemed to be a health threat across the country.
“The board is constitutionally entitled to register, manage and administer political parties; disclose election timetable and conduct an election without the interference of any party,” the board’s said.
Accordingly, the council of the Tigray region neither has legal ground to pass a decision on the holding of the regional election nor demand the board to organize the election, it said.
“The board does not recognize the council’s decision nor accept its request to organize the election. Also, there is no legal ground for the board to deploy election executives, provide logistic and material support” the board added.
Mid this month, the House of Federation (HOF) postponed the 6th general elections until favorable conditions are created to hold polls.
The upper house also approved a recommendation to hold the 6th general elections within 9 months to 1 year after the pandemic is declared by pertinent health bodies that it will no longer pose a threat to public health.
The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) claimed NEBE was conspiring with the ruling government to extend the election using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse.
Tensions remain high between the ruling party of Ethiopia and the Tigray region governing party after the later announced decision to hold a regional election and/ or create an independent nation.
The ruling Prosperity Party office in Tigray region accuses TPLF of attempting to mobilize the people of Tigray for secession from Ethiopia.
Head of the office Nebiyou Sehulmichael said the government will take all the necessary legal measures against TPLF if the later organizes regional election, infringing the country’s constitution.
"If there is a real desire from the people to create the Republic of Tigray, they can realize their vision based on legal procedure. TPLF, however, did not have the legal and moral ground to lead the Tigray people," he said.
TPLF officials, however, rubbished a claim by the Prosperity Party that it is operating in Tigray region.
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