turning point

Ethiopia: As election nears, parties seek unity of varying identities

By Loza Seleshie

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Posted on April 7, 2021 13:37

Ethiopia Elections
A man casts his vote in Ethiopia’s general election in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Sunday, May 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Mulugeata Ayene)

After being postponed twice, Ethiopia’s general elections will finally take place on 5 June. Indeed, since 2018, the country’s political transition has had its security and economic challenges further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. With 49 parties currently registered, the upcoming ballot promises to be highly decisive in shaping Ethiopia’s future.

Ethiopians will soon go to the polls to elect the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR) and regional State Councils (SC) members. Being a federal parliamentary republic, there are two chambers: the HPR  and the House of Federation (HF). Members of the latter are to be elected by the SC or ‘may hold elections to have the representatives elected by the people directly’ (Article 61.3) .

While the SC has jurisdiction over regional state matters, the majority party (or coalition) in the HPR designates the prime minister.

Ahead of election day, who are the main decisive forces? Are there deep ideological differences within the current government? And what, if any, coalitions are possible?

Building amidst crisis

Abiy Ahmed’s rise to power in 2018 shifted many aspects of the political landscape: opposition groups returned from exile, political prisoners were freed and freedom of expression was

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