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Ethiopia Prepares for an Election

Ethiopia’s poll body has says national elections will now be held on June 21, kicking off a fresh countdown to a key test of democratic reforms under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Africa’s second most populous country was first due to hold the polls last August, but officials pushed them to June 5 of this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. About 36 million Ethiopians had registered to vote as of last weekend, though no registration had occurred in several constituencies rocked by ethnic violence, including in the country’s most populous regions, Oromia and Amhara. The elections will choose national and regional parliamentarians. The national MPs elect the prime minister, who is head of government, as well as the president – a largely ceremonial role. Electoral officials said it would be “very difficult” to include these conflict-hit constituencies on June 21.