By Staff Reporter
September 12, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- The Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) said it won the elections in Ethiopia’s Tigray region in a landslide victory, securing 98.2 percent of the vote. The TPLF has ruled Tigray for more than 30 years, often with 100 percent of parliamentary seats in the region.
Four small and new political parties competed during the elections, namely, Baytona, Salsay Weyane Tigray, Tigray Independence Party, and Asimba Democratic Party took part in the controversial elections which the federal government referred it to as “illegal.”
The region’s election commissioner Muluwork Kidanemariam on Friday said TPLF secured 152 seats out of 190 seats in the regional council while competing political parties shared the remaining 38 seats.
According to the preliminary results announced by the Electoral Commission, TPLF secured 2,590,620; Baytona: 20,839; Tigray Independence Party: 18,479; Salsay Weyane Tigray: 3,136; and Asimba Democratic Party: 774.
More than 98 percent of the over 2.6 million registered voters cast their votes in 2,672 polling stations on Wednesday’s elections while safety measures against the coronavirus pandemic were taken.
Early last month, the Tigray National Regional Council introduced a Mixed Electoral System allowing participating opposition political parties to secure 20 percent of the seats in the regional council.
Ethiopia’s upper house last week dismissed the Tigray’s election as “unconstitutional” and the region would go for election in violations of Article 9(1) of the Ethiopian Constitution and the outcome would be “null and void.”
The election was relatively peaceful except in southern Tigray where there were clashes between security forces and members ethnic Amhara who refused to participate in the election.
TPLF executive member Getachew Reda on Wednesday told the BBC Amharic Radio Service that “there were unsuccessful attempts to disturb the election in the southern Tigray region.”
Opposition parties won less than two percent electoral votes. Accordingly, Baytona secured 0.8 percent, Tigray Independence Party, 0.71 percent, Salsay Weyane Tigray, 0.27 percent, and Asimba Democratic Party, 0.01 percent.
Ethiopia was supposed to hold general elections last August but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic which infected more than 60,000 people and killed nearly 1000 others.
TPLF claimed the federal government had no constitutional basis to extend the general election nor has the power to prevent regional governments from conducting their own elections.
Exclusion of the TPLF from major political decisions in the federal government and the issue of postponing the national elections exacerbated the confrontation between the ruling Prosperity Party and TPLF.
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