Ethiopians vote in controversial delayed polls

More than seven million people in three Ethiopian regions are voting in elections delayed from June.

The polls in Somali, Southern Nations and Harari regions were postponed after reports of irregularities and involvement of governing party officials in the process.

As predicted, the Prosperity Party won the June vote by a landslide. Only a handful of opposition candidates gained seat in parliament. It was Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s first electoral test and could mean that he’ll be leading the government for the next five years.

Abiy is due to be forming a new government in early October.

Simultaneously, voters from five ethnic groups in south-western Ethiopia will hold a referendum to form Ethiopia’s 11th regional state. If they succeed, it will be a second new region formed since Abiy came to power in 2018.

However, Thursday’s vote, just as the elections in June, is being overshadowed by the war in the north.

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