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Last Updated on June 11, 2020

Ethiopia MPs back extending Abiy’s term amid election delay

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Ethiopia upper parliamentary chamber known as the House of Federation (HoF), has approved an extension to the mandate of the current parliament as well as regional parliaments and councils.

“The House of Federation has approved a decision to extend the term of all assemblies by pushing elections forward. This is until international health institutions have deemed the threat from coronavirus to be over,” the Ethiopian News Agency reported.

The HOF during a session approved the Council of Constitutional Inquiry’s (CCI) recommendations submitted to the Constitutional Interpretation and Identity sub-committee in late May this year. The approval has 114 members voting in favour, four voted against with one abstention.

The move lays to rest the question of what happens to the mandate of the current parliament which expires in October this year. Elections meant to reconstitute a new parliament have been postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic. The general elections were originally to take place on August 29.

Related: Ethiopia Declare State of Emergency to fight Covid-19

The CCI’s recommendations included that terms of office of the House of Peoples Representatives, the HoF, state councils and the executive at federal and state levels be extended for as long as Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a threat to public health, and a current State of Emergency remained in place.

Elections will take place within a year after the relevant authorities declare that Covid-19 is no longer a threat to public health.

Ethiopia MP Keria Ibrahim Resignation

Reacting to the resignation of its speaker Keria Ibrahim as the house met to decide on the recommendations, deputy speaker, Mohammed Rashid, said the resignation had no effect on the working procedures of the HoF.

Mohammed further chided Keria the way she announced her resignation. He bemoaned her decision to publicize the resignation instead of submitting it through the appropriate channel.

Keria Ibrahim resigned due to the postponement of the elections. In a televised speech, she accused Abiy’s government of taking away the sovereign rights of Ethiopia’s citizens.

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