Ethiopians headed to the polls Monday for a controversial election being carried out amid an ongoing conflict and a raging humanitarian crisis in the country’s northern Tigray region. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is facing his first real test at the ballot in what is Ethiopia’s first multi-party election in 16 years, albeit one riven with conflict, jailed opposition figures and parts of the country unable to vote. Abiy said he expected the poll to be peaceful, tweeting ahead of the vote that it would be Ethiopia’s “first attempt at free and fair elections.” But some Ethiopians and political analysts disagreed with the prime minister. A veteran journalist, Martin Plaut, described the June 21 poll as “a dubious process.” “Correction: some Ethiopians will cast their vote. The election has been canceled in several regions – including Tigray. It’s such a dubious process that most international observers have refused to monitor it,” Plaut tweeted. The European Union has long withdrawn its election observation mission to Ethiopia, citing the government’s uncooperative stance in fulfilling “standard requirements” relating to security and the independence of the observer group.