Africa’s second-most populous country went to the polls on Monday but an opposition boycott, a months-long war in the northern region of Tigray, ethnic violence elsewhere and logistical challenges overshadowed the vote in some regions. Abiy’s newly formed Prosperity Party (PP) is seen as the frontrunner in a crowded field of candidates, mostly from smaller, ethnically-based parties. The vote was seen as a crucial test for the prime minister, whose rise to power in 2018 initially seemed to signal a break with decades of authoritarian rule, but who has since waged war in the Tigray region and whose party has been accused of election abuses. More than 37 million of Ethiopia’s 109 million people were registered to vote, choosing from 46 parties and more than 9,000 candidates – a record, according to the electoral board. But some prominent opposition parties, notably in the country’s most populous region, Oromia, boycotted the election citing intimidation and imprisonment of some of their leaders and supporters.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA