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Ethiopia electoral body says 'shortfalls are inevitable'

  • 2021-05-11 04:55:38
  • News

Ahead of next month's elections, Ethiopia's electoral body has said that "shortfalls are inevitable", but that is has been "taken aback" by criticism from five US senators.

In a letter last month to the US' new special envoy for the Horn of Africa they called for the elections to be postponed because of ongoing security problems.

The polls have already been delayed once and will play out amid a growing political and humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region caused by fighting between government and regional troops.

Birtukan Midekssa, the National Electoral Board (NEB) chairperson, said they were trying to hold the elections in accordance with Ethiopia's laws and international standards.

She added that shortfalls were expected given "the population size, development deficits, a nascent democratic culture and an increasingly charged political and environmental environment".

Ms Birtukan also said that measures have been put in place to try and minimise the effects of these factors

The statement however cited risks to carrying out major reforms in an election year, saying any significant change could "imperil the overall integrity, credibility, inclusivity and timeliness of the electoral process".

"For this reason, significant reforms at this stage in this electoral cycle are discouraged," Ms Birtukan said.