ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s prime minister on Thursday reiterated his administration’s commitment to give the nation of 110 million people a free, fair and peaceful election.
In a tweet after meeting regional leadership and officials of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), Abiy Ahmed said: “We are committed to holding a free, fair, democratic & peaceful 6th National Election.”
He said: “Elections are a demonstration of building a democratic culture in which differences are addressed through the ballot and not by the bullet. Through the voting process, citizens exercise agency and actively participate in the building of a democratic process.”
Election campaigns and voters’ registration are underway for the June 5 poll despite the country facing violent insurgency.
Though turnout of voters at registration stations is much below expectations, the Electoral Board hopes more people will register in the coming days.
Peace seems to be an elusive commodity in the Horn of Africa nation as armed insurgents continue launching sporadic attacks against civilians in south western, western and even central parts of the country.
Over the past few days, the second most populous region of Amhara saw heavily attended anti-government protests, which were largely peaceful.
The country’s restive northernmost region of Tigray, where rebels of the now defunct TIgray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rose arms against the federal forces, would not participate in the June 5 parliamentary elections due to be conducted across the country.
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