The election board said the delay in opening polling stations and voter registration delayed polling day.
Ethiopia has again postponed its national elections after some opposition parties said they would not participate and because a conflict in the country’s Tigray region meant no voting was held there, which is more complicating Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s efforts to centralize power.
Birtukan Mideksa, chairman of The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), “stated that delays in the opening of polling stations and voter registration are pushing up polling day”, the state news agency said. that Fana reported on Saturday.
Mideksa told the Reuters agency that the election will not take place on June 5 as scheduled.
“We will allow everything [know] how many more weeks or days to complete the delayed tasks… Not more than three weeks, ”he added.
Mideksa cited many of the logistical delays, such as closing voter registration, training of electoral staff, printing and handing out ballot papers.
“Practically, it has become impossible to deliver it all on the originally scheduled dates,” he said.
In the weeks leading up to the election, there have been some signs of campaigning, and several opposition parties are planning to boycott the vote, describing it as a “mistake”.
Voting was originally planned for August last year but was postponed for the first time due to coronavirus disease.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which led the northern region at the time, resisted the delay and held regional elections in September.
This was a major cause of conflict between the TPLF and the central government in Addis Ababa, which continued in early November.
The Tigray fight has killed thousands and led the United States to say that “ethnic cleansing” against the Tigrayans was carried out in the western part of the region inhabited by about six million.
The prime minister, who advocated complete political reforms after taking office in 2018 and winning the Nobel Peace Prize the following year, has always promised that this election will be free and fair.
Abiy will continue in office if his Prosperity Party wins the majority of seats in the national assembly.