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Ethiopians head to the polls

Ethiopians queue to cast their votes, next to a national flag, in the general election at a polling center in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday. Associated Press/Photo by Ben Curtis

Ethiopians head to the polls

Ethiopians waited in long lines at poll stations in parts of the country on Monday. The election, delayed from last year due to the pandemic, is the first since 2015 and comes as the first electoral test for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize laureate called the vote “the nation’s first attempt at free and fair elections,” yet voting was delayed in a fifth of the country—including the war-torn Tigray region—due to security issues and logistical problems.

Who is favored to win the elections? Abiy’s Prosperity Party is widely expected to retain its hold on power, but the vote comes amid the internationally condemned attacks in the northern Tigray region. Ethnic violence has also continued in other regions, including Oromia and Amhara. Some opposition parties boycotted the vote, saying they received threats of violence and were prevented from campaigning in parts of the country. The United Nations highlighted the “challenging” environment and cautioned against any acts of violence.

Dig deeper: Read my World Tour report on the impact of the Tigrayan war on civilians.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD’s Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University–Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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