2020 Election will be held on Time, Abiy says

ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopia’s ruling party wants for the 2020 national Election to be held on time. But any decision to postpone the election will be taken by all competing parties, said Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The election board previously said insecurity, which has driven many people out of their homes according to the United Nations, could delay next year’s parliament vote.

A national census and local elections in Addis Abeba have already been postponed twice, potentially undermining logistics for the polls.

Speaking with the press on Thursday, Abiy insisted it is the interest of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) for the election to take place on time.

The ruling party is preparing well for the parliament vote, he said.

If the need to delay arises, it will be decided after consolations are held with all competing political parties and the public, Abiy added.

Abiy also said the Sidama referendum will take place as per the timetable announced by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE).

NEBE announced earlier last month that it will hold the referendum within five months.

– Other concerns –

While responding to questions, the prime minister downplayed the danger of the recent war of words between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP). Both are members of the ruling party.

“It is common in global politics,” the Prime Minister said. Ethiopia’s 100 million citizens are seeing unprecedented political change.

Abiy, who took power last year after his predecessor suddenly resigned, has freed journalists and activists, lifted bans on political parties, and prosecuted officials accused of gross human rights abuses.

A reporter has asked there are some indications of the government backtracking from the changes that have brought a rave review to his administration.

Abiy, however, rejected these claims of backtracking in the protection of human rights.

“There is no evidence for that.” The Prime Minister said the government would scale up its efforts to ensuring the rule of law.