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COVID-19 forces Ethiopia to cancel parliamentary polls

Coronavirus outbreak made it impossible to carry on with electoral preparations, says electoral board

Addis Getachew   | 31.03.2020
COVID-19 forces Ethiopia to cancel parliamentary polls FILE PHOTO

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s electoral authority called off Tuesday parliamentary polls slated for August due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"We have decided to hold back the timetable issued for the parliamentary election due to the coronavirus phenomena that made it impossible to carry on with electoral preparations," read a statement by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE).

The statement came as more regional state governments decided to close their administrative boundaries to prevent the spread of the virus.

"Upon assessment of the impact COVID-19 is having on the electoral processes, the Board decided to cancel the election calendar," it said.

Ethiopia has so far recorded 25 cases without any deaths. It has also reported two recoveries from the deadly infection.

In the event of an extraordinary situation, the Ethiopian constitution gives six months to the prime minister to dissolve the parliament and announce a new timetable for the elections.

Ethiopia was bracing up to hold its sixth parliamentary polls as the country’s prime minister promised to give the nation a free, fair and credible voting unlike the previous ones which had been very much contested.

Ethiopia holds parliamentary elections every five years according to the current constitution that came to effect in 1994.

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