Ethiopia is witnessing its first parliamentary elections since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018, as 36 million Ethiopian voters are entitled to cast their ballots to choose their representatives tomorrow, Monday.
These elections are the sixth legislative elections since the adoption of the country’s national constitution in 1994, and witnessed the selection of 547 parliamentarians, and 112 federal members. Read also Oromia Region Labor Council: Ethiopia is on the verge of collapse and crises surround it from every side Ethiopia.. UN warning of impending famine in Tigray
The Ethiopian Parliament consists of two chambers; Federal (the second chamber) and includes members representing all nationalities in Ethiopia, and the Assembly of People’s Representatives (the first chamber).
The elections are held in light of political and security challenges that the country is witnessing at the internal, regional and international levels. The disparities in Ethiopia – about building the modern state on a unitary and national basis – are another challenge to the organization of elections on which the Ethiopian street relies on to establish a system of government that enhances democracy.
These elections also come amid internal disputes and disagreements in some regions, such as Tigray, West Oromo and Benishangul region. In addition to external crises, the most important of which is the border dispute with Sudan, and the file of the Renaissance Dam, which remained one of the challenges in relations with the downstream countries, Sudan and Egypt.
Ethiopia is the second largest country in Africa by population, which makes its elections a pivotal matter whose results are reflected inside and outside the country, especially on the Horn of Africa, which is experiencing a state of turmoil and weakness in democratic life.
a way to stabilize
Political analyst Muhammad al-Arousi sees these elections as a way to achieve stability, return life to normal, and help the economy recover. He considered it an important experience as the first electoral entitlement after the reforms.
Al-Arousi expected – in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net – that the new parliament would be distinguished by the representation of the people of all sects. “It will not be a single political color as we used to before,” he said.
For his part, analyst Ikram Tadesse described the elections as a mission to complete building a modern civil state that would put an end to the multiple political, economic and social crises.
Tadesse said – in statements to Al Jazeera Net – that the next Ethiopian government should be able to end political divisions, solve problems in tense regions and unify the vision towards external interventions, especially in the file of the Renaissance Dam.
In his last campaign before the electoral silence, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed – who leads the Prosperity Party – renewed his vision for a peaceful, united and prosperous Ethiopia.
Ahmed called – in front of thousands of his supporters – Ethiopians to exercise their civic duty by participating in the ballot in the general elections.
“We will come out of the elections stronger and more united, so that Ethiopia will be the support of the Horn of Africa in particular,” he said. He added, “All bets will fail that we will face problems during the elections, and as yesterday we were one nation, we will win today.”
While Berhanu Nega – leader of the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice party, known as “Ezima” – said, “We will make Ethiopia a country that enjoys a true democracy, in which the government is under the control and accountability of the people.”
He added – in front of thousands of his supporters – that his party seeks to establish a system in which the rule of law and democracy and in which the people enjoy equal citizenship and the independence of the judiciary and legislative authority.