Ethiopia’s Elections Won’t Be the Victory Lap Abiy Hoped For

Ethiopia’s Elections Won’t Be the Victory Lap Abiy Hoped For
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks at a final campaign rally in the town of Jimma, in the southwestern Oromia region of Ethiopia, June 16, 2021 (AP photo by Mulugeta Ayene).

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Ethiopia is preparing to vote in long-delayed national and regional parliamentary elections Monday—at least, part of it is. Voting won’t take place in the Tigray region, which is still mired in a grinding conflict and humanitarian catastrophe. With other constituencies facing logistical delays and some of the opposition calling for a boycott, at least a fifth of the country will not be casting a ballot.

With the outcome tipped in his favor, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is hoping to secure a popular mandate with the poll. It will be the first time he has faced voters since he came to power in 2018 following the abrupt resignation of his predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn.

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