Tigray region held regional elections on September 9, in spite of protests of the federal government and increasing political tensions in Ethiopia.
While Prime Minister Abiy has ruled out military intervention, there are fears that any punitive measures by the federal government could further escalate tensions.
The Tigray defiance of the federal government is the latest challenge to the administration of Nobel Peace Price winner Abiy, who is struggling to hold together a federation that assembles Ethiopia’s more than 80 ethnic groups.
The regional officials, holding polls for the 190-seat Tigray parliament, warned that any intervention by the federal government would amount to a “declaration of war”.
They objected to the postponement of the national and regional elections, originally scheduled for August, explained by the coronavirus pandemic and the extension of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s time in office.
The local sources said results will be announced by September 13.
On, Ethiopia’s upper house of parliament, which mediates constitutional disputes, ruled that the polls for regional parliaments and other positions were unconstitutional, announcing the assessment on September 5, which did not stop Tigray region to continue with election timetable.