Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed
Tigray regional state has all but rejected the regional parliament’s mandate extension granted by the House of Federation earlier this week.
The regional council has subsequently announced today that it planned to go ahead with regional elections, Getachew Reda, Executive Member of the governing Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, confirmed to privately-owned Addis Standard portal.
The council’s decision this morning followed earlier decision both by TPLF’s Executive Committee (EC), and its Central Committee (CC) to hold the election, the portal further reported. The exact role of the elections body in the process has yet to be known.
The council also extended regional COVID-19 State of Emergency by two-and-half months. This is despite there being a similar federal virus containment measure with a five-month duration starting April 10.
The details of the regional election indicate that it will be held before September 11 or latest before the end of the Ethiopian year. Mandates from 2015 polls expire in October but polls were delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.TPLF leadership have repeatedly insisted that irrespective of federal directives, it was going ahead with polls in what analysts say could signal a confrontation with the federal government led by PM Abiy Ahmed.
A number of opposition parties in Oromia and Somali regions have denounced the manner and scope of the mandate extension. A key pro-democracy activist turned politician Jawar Mohammed said the government was exploiting the virus outbreak to extend its stay in power indefinitely.