Ethiopia postpones polls indefinitely over logistical issues

Saturday May 15 2021
africa04pix

Current Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The nation's electoral body said May 15 that its polls have been deferred. PHOTO/FILE

By AFP

The head of Ethiopia's election board said Saturday it would be impossible to hold a planned June 5 vote due to mounting logistical issues and postponed it without giving a new date.

"The vote will not happen on June 5 ... we can't tell you the date as the board has to examine the inputs it received from parties," said election board chairwoman Birutkan Mideksa.

She cited a plethora of logistical delays, such as finalising voter registration, training electoral staff, printing and distributing ballot papers.

"Practically, it became impossible to deliver all these at the originally slated dates."

She said the new date would take into account the rainy season -- which runs from about June to September.

The nation of 110 million people was due to choose national and regional parliamentarians in the election.

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The MPs elect the prime minister, who is head of government, as well as the president -- a largely ceremonial role. 

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