Image credit: Office of the Prime Minister@Flickr.
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The COVID-19 Pandemic has its first electoral casualty in Africa after Ethiopia announced the indefinite postponement of preparations for general elections for members of the House of Peoples’ Representatives (parliament) and Regional Legislative Councils, originally slotted for 29 August 2020.
Ethiopia’s 2020 elections are expected to be the most free, fair and competitive since the ill-fated 2005 elections, which ended with a post-election violence, the detention or exile of opposition leaders and journalists, and overall cementing of authoritarianism.
There is hope, but also anxiety that the 2020 elections may similarly herald in a combination of authoritarianism and worsening of lawlessness and instability.
A welcome postponement
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the timing of the Ethiopian elections was more a consequence of a constitutionally fixed five-year parliamentary term than...
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