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01 Apr 2020 | 08:32 AM UTC

Ethiopia: Authorities postpone August parliamentary elections March 31

Authorities postpone parliamentary elections scheduled for August due to the COVID-19 outbreak on March 31; further spread of the virus expected

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Event

On Tuesday, March 31, the National Election Board of Ethiopia announced the postponement of the Saturday, August 29, parliamentary elections to a later date due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. As of Wednesday, April 1, the new election date has not been confirmed.

As of April 1, there are 23 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide. Further international spread of the virus is expected.

Context

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has promised to hold free and fair elections and has been positioning himself as a unity candidate whose reforms could replace repression as the glue holding Ethiopia's often fractious federal regions together. But his party will be challenged by newly resurgent regional, ethnically based parties such as the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the National Movement of Amhara (NAMA).

Advice

Individuals in Ethiopia are advised to monitor developments to the local situation and to adhere to all instructions issued by authorities.