Friday, September 30, 2022

Abiy Ahmed faces first test as Ethiopians vote

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.
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Ethiopians are voting in regional and parliamentary elections as ethnic tensions deepen and hunger worsens.

It is the first test of the popular vote for the Ethiopian prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, and his Prosperity Party since he took power in 2018.

The polls which were supposed to have been held last August were delayed due coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly a fifth of the constituencies aren’t taking part in the election because of insecurity and irregularities.

They include the whole of the northern Tigray region where civil war has prompted a humanitarian crisis.

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The military and police patrols here reflect the tensions in Ethiopia, which are overshadowing this election.

Some parties in Ethiopia’s most populous region, Oromia, have said they would boycott the election.

The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) pulled out in March, citing the jailing of some of its leaders.

OLF is one of the oldest parties in Ethiopia with a huge following in Oromia, where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed comes from.

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Ethiopia is a country of nations and various ethnic groups forged together. Increasingly, many of them are pushing for greater autonomy.

With this election, Mr Abiy is offering the idea of Ethiopia first – before individual differences. He’s hoping the country will support it.


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