Tigray Regional Council Decides Regional Elections Due No Later than September 2020

Jun 12 , 2020

Council members of the Tigray Regional State have passed, unanimously, a fateful decision to hold regional elections before the term of the existing council members come to an end in the first week of October 2020.

Chaired by Raphael Sherif, 130 of the 152 Councillors attended have passed this decision two days after the House of Federation opted to extend the term of members of parliament, the House of Federation, and regional councils until the next national elections, which is expected to be held almost a year after COVID-19 is pronounced to pose no risk to public health. Four of the 119 members of the upper house who attended the session, out of 153, voted against the resolution.

The decision made today by the Tigray State Council is seen as a push back, which could put the country on a different political trajectory, according to pundits.

The Tigray Regional Council has also instructed the regional administration to file a formal request before the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), chaired by Birtukan Midekssa, to hold elections in the Regional State no later than September 10, 2020. The Council's decision also calls for the formation of a regional electoral board if the NEBE is not able or willing to respond in the stated deadline.

A week ago, the Central Committee of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), the ruling party in the regional state, passed a motion stating that the decision by the parliament for constitutional interpretations to decide on the fate of elections was unconstitutional. Keria Ibrahim, the speaker of the upper chamber, also resigned just two days ahead of the House of Federation convening to vote on the recommendations forwarded from the Council of Constitutional Inquiry.

During today's meeting, the Council also decided to extend the state of emergency decree for an additional two and a half months.


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