Tigray Region Vote Unconstitutional, Lawmakers Say

ADDIS ABEBA – The lower house of Ethiopian parliament called next week’s election in the northern Tigray region unconstitutional and said it would not recognize the results.

The House of Federation (HoF) called the formation of an electoral board in the region illegal indicating that the power of executing elections reserved only to the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia as per FDRE constitution.

The house also unanimously declared that the polls for regional parliament and other positions slated for September 9, “are unconstitutional and are therefore void”, the HoF said in a statement issued at the end of its extraordinary meeting on Saturday.

In March, the lawmakers decided to postpone the national elections, which had been scheduled for August, due to coronavirus pandemic.

After months-long debate, the house voted in July to extend their and regional council terms until the poll takes place. A new date still has to be set.

The International Crisis Group think tank said last month that the TPLF, a ruling party in Tigray and one of the founding groups in a coalition of ethnic parties that has run the country since the 1990s, and the central government were on a “collision course”.

Abiy Ahmed’s government would “consider any new regional administration illegitimate” if the election went ahead, the group said.

Featured Image: Members of the House of Federations voted to reject the planned election in Tigray Regional State on Saturday afternoon. [Photo Parliament Office]