The election campaign in Ethiopia for the June 5 parliamentary and regional councils polls is in full swing, as vehicles carrying loudspeakers hit the roads in the capital Addis Ababa displaying parties’ mottos and emblems.
According to the state-owned Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), 47 parties have got their candidates registered with the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia to vie for seats in the 547-seat federal parliament as well as for regional councils.
A record 125 candidates have also registered as independent candidates, it said.
Four of the regional parties will be contesting only for federal parliament seats, while two others limited themselves to regional council levels.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will compete from his native constituency of Agaro in Jimma, southern Oromia region.
The Horn of Africa country will conduct the elections in June in all regional states, except the northernmost Tigray region where a massive law enforcement operation by the federal government made it impossible for the election board to carry on with normal activity there.
The board said it would announce a date for Tigray later.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was outlawed by the country’s House of the Federation, the upper house of parliament, after its forces attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, killing soldiers and looting military hardware.
Sporadic fighting is being reported in the Tigray region although security situation has largely improved as the government and aid agencies continue distributing food aid for the people affected by the conflict.