ADDIS ABABA – The Upper House of Ethiopian Parliament decided on Tuesday to cut all relations between the federal authorities and both the Tigray regional council and executive body.
This comes after Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) unilaterally held elections in the northern region after forming its own electoral commission – a move which officials called “unconstitutional”.
“No one can hold election in Ethiopia except the national electoral board of Ethiopia as per article the constitution’s article 102,” said Worku Adamu, chairman of Constitutional and Identity Affairs Standing Committee of the house of federation.
Tuesday’s decision furthers breakdown the relations between central government and TPLF which dominated Ethiopian politics before Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018 but still in command in Tigray.
It also follows the resolution passed by the same House declaring the regional election in Tigray null and void in the first week of September 2020.
“Based on this resolution and following the latest development in the region, the house voted to cut ties with the region’s executive body and council formed in an unconstitutional manner,” Worku told state television.
Nevertheless, he said the federal government will continue to work with legal institutions, Woreda and city administrations in Tigray to ensure that essential services remain available to the people of the region.
Ethiopia was due to hold national elections in August, but the country’s poll body ruled in March that all voting would need to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The parliament moved to postpone the periodic national elections for the House of Peoples’ Representatives and Regional Legislative Councils, which was slated to take place in last August.
While doing so, the House extended the terms of both regional and national deputies for a year in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last month, Prime Minister Abiy ruled out dramatic retaliatory measures like a military intervention or cutting off Tigray’s funding while dismissing the Tigray vote as a “shanty election”.
National Electoral Board is currently under preparation to hold the 6th round national general elections after lawmakers sanctioned the election to take place in the this year.