Ethiopia defers polls indefinitely over logistical issues

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Picture: Michael Tewelde/ AFP
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Picture: Michael Tewelde/ AFP

The head of Ethiopia's election board said Saturday it would be impossible to hold a planned 5 June vote due to mounting logistical issues and postponed it without giving a new date.

"The vote will not happen on 5 June ... we can't tell you the date as the board has to examine the inputs it received from parties," said election board chairwoman Birutkan Mideksa.

She cited a plethora of logistical delays, such as finalising voter registration, training electoral staff, printing and distributing ballot papers.

"Practically, it became impossible to deliver all these at the originally slated dates."

She said the new date would take into account the rainy season - which runs from about June to September.

The nation of 110 million people was due to choose national and regional parliamentarians in the election.

The MPs elect the prime minister, who is head of government, as well as the president - a largely ceremonial role.


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