By OKELLO ALLAN & AGENCIES
ADDIS ABABA-SHIFTMEDIA- Amidst tension, and widespread fear, Ethiopians went into polls early today with Prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s ruling Prosperity Party widely expected to tighten its grip on power.
According to Africanews.com The party that wins a majority of seats in the House of Peoples’ Representatives will form the next government.
Close to 40 million people have registered to take part in the national and regional parliamentary elections.
Due to the outstanding insecurity, and logistical challenges in about a fifth of the nation, polling won’t be allowed.
In 64 of them, the vote was pushed back to September 6th. But officials have yet to set a date for Tigray’s 38 constituencies.
The elections, which were delayed twice since last year, are now contested by members of the opposition, with some accusing Ethiopia’s ruling party of harassment, manipulation, and threats of violence, that echo abuses of the past.
Other prominent opposition parties have decided to boycott the election.
Abiy is facing growing international criticism over the war in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, sparked in part because Tigray’s now-fugitive leaders objected to Ethiopia postponing the election last year while citing COVID-19.
Tigray’s former leaders, who are fighting Ethiopian forces and those from neighboring Eritrea, have reported fierce new combat in recent days.
Ethiopia’s defense forces have called the fighting challenging because of the rough terrain. Thousands of civilians have been killed in what observers describe as drawn-out guerrilla war.