General elections were supposed to be held in Ethiopia on 29 August 2020 to elect officials to the House of Peoples’ Representatives, but were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Regional and municipal council elections were also planned to be held at the same time around the country. In May the sitting House of Representatives voted to postpone the election until 2021. In late December 2020, the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) stated that it would take place on 5 June 2021.
The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, along with three out of the four member parties of the political coalition which had dominated Ethiopian politics since the overthrow of the Derg regime in 1991, namely Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) and Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM), was dissolved on 1 December 2019. Most of its member parties were merged into the Prosperity Party, which inherited the EPRDF’s role as the governing party. The last leader of the EPRDF, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, became the first leader of the new party.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the dominant component of the EPRDF, was the only constituent party that did not merge into the new Prosperity Party. In September 2020, Tigray Region held regional election that the government of Ethiopia deemed illegal.
Attacks on 4 November 2020 by Tigray regional security forces on the headquarters of the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) belonging to the Government of Ethiopia led to armed conflict in the Tigray region. In late November and in December, the Tigray Region government was replaced by the Transitional Government of Tigray. TPLF was then dissolved by NEBE.
Sources and further reading:
Ethiopia postpones voters’ registration for general elections, citing regional delays
Africa in the news: Ethiopia, Republic of Congo, Kenya, and Somalia updates
The Guardian view on the war in Ethiopia: Tigray’s civilians need protection