What you need to know:
- The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) said repeated extensions of voters' registration dates, delay in nominating and training of electoral staff as well as delay in printing and distribution of ballots forced the delay.
Ethiopian authorities on Saturday formally postponed its national election set for June 5, citing low voter registration and logistical issues.
At a consultation forum with political parties, the Ethiopian Electoral Board announced that the 6th General Election will not be conducted on the scheduled date.
The reason, it said, was that voter registration and other "activities" had not been completed per schedule.
The board asked the dozens of political parties to delay the election by at least three weeks.
Last year, the country postponed a parliamentary election due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ethiopians were supposed to vote on June 5, 2021 to elect a new Parliament as well as regional and municipal councils.
While formally confirming the postponement later on Saturday, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) said repeated extensions of voters' registration dates, delay in nominating and training of electoral staff as well as delay in printing and distribution of ballots forced the delay.
According to Xinhua news, Mideksa said the new voting date will be announced soon after consultations with a wide array of electoral stakeholders.
Earlier on Saturday, the NEBE announced it had registered more than 36.2 million potential voters out of a potential voters' number of around 50 million.
Under Ethiopia's parliamentary government system, the Prime Minister, who is the highest authority of the land, is selected from the party that wins the most seats at federal Parliament level and will be sworn in after parliamentary vote.
Peace increasing unlikely
Political analysts doubt that Ethiopia would hold peaceful elections.
William Davison of the International Crisis Group says a peaceful election in the conflict-ravaged horn of Africa nation seems increasingly unlikely while unresolved grievances persist among nationalities and ethnic groups.
"The big problem is the level of violence we're seeing across the country at this time, which looks like it is increasing in the run-up to the elections in early June," Mr Davidson told DW.
This applies particularly to the regional states of Benishangul-Gumuz and Oromia, the latter which is the largest of Ethiopia's nine administrative regions, and where insurgent activity has increased.
"It may prove difficult to hold elections in areas where the security situation is fragile,” Mr Davidson said, adding violence is prone to escalate through increased attacks by ethnic militias.
"There are also logistical issues. More than 56 million citizens eligible to vote are not registered to do so.”
Oromo, Tigray conflicts
According to Mr Davison, the electoral board was initially unable to carry out voter registration in western Oromia.
Security issues also led to massive problems in Benishangul-Gumuz.
On Tigray, Mr Davidson said: "There is a civil war going on in Tigray. There is a state of emergency, so there will be no elections in Tigray.”
He added: "There have also been delays in voter registration in the Afar and Somali regions, where there was recently a territorial dispute between regional paramilitary forces."
As a result of the volatile situation, some opposition parties including the powerful Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) have boycotted the ballot.
Opposition parties accuse the government of arresting their leaders, intermediating between their members and shutting down their offices.
Additional reporting by Xinhua