The House of Federation, which represents the nine federated states, voted in favor of this solution despite much criticism from the political opposition as well as from jurists and human rights activists.
Abiy Ahmed, who was to step down in October after the August elections, will thus continue to lead Ethiopia until Covid-19 is no longer considered a crisis situation by the health authorities. Only then can elections be held within nine to 12 months.
The population census has also been postponed once again. The country has not held one for 13 years.
The Speaker of the Upper House of the Ethiopian Parliament, Keria Ibrahim, resigned from her post on Monday June 8 in protest at the postponement of the planned elections. Keria Ibrahim accuses the Prime Minister and his government of breaking the law and trying to impose authoritarian power.
Speaker Keria Ibrahim is a top official in Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), one of the country’s major political parties that have opposed the postponement. Actually, her resignation mirrors a growing tension between her party and the government.
With this vote of the House of Federation, the Nobel Peace prize holder Abiy Ahmed will continue to lead Ethiopia as long as a the pandemic lingers on.
As of Thursday, Ethiopia recorded 2,506 COVID-19 cases and 35 fatalities.