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AFP
June 21, 2021

Ethiopia’s election board ‘confident’ despite worry over vote

AFP
June 21, 2021

Addis Ababa: Twice delayed, hobbled by the coronavirus pandemic, violent insecurity, and planning chaos, Ethiopia’s electoral board says it is ready for Monday’s crucial vote and assures it will be credible.

“We’re actually very confident about it,” the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) spokeswoman Solyana Shimeles told AFP. It is not optimism shared by all, with serious doubts remaining over the vote Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised would be the most competitive yet in Africa’s second-most populous nation.

Voting will not proceed on June 21 in about one-fifth of the country’s 547 constituencies due to unrest and logistical problems. Those constituencies will mostly vote in September, but no ballot is scheduled in Tigray, a war-torn region of six million. In some areas where voting will proceed, opposition boycotts have further undermined claims of inclusivity and competition.