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Federal-Tigray tension escalate

The Tigray Regional Council, in an urgent meeting held on Wednesday, September 4, 2020, has decided not to take part in a meeting the House of Federation (HoF) has scheduled for September 5, 2020. Prior to the decision, the Council had sent a letter to the HoF requesting for the agenda of the meeting to be sent.

The HoF has told its members that there is an urgent meeting to be held today, September 5, 2020, though the House did not disclose the details of the meeting.

To that effect, the regional Council has asked the House to reveal the agenda, and issued a statement that denounces the moves made by the HoF. It called upon the House to refrain from its activities to interrupt and interfere in the upcoming regional election. The region expects to conduct it’s elections on the coming Wednesday, September 9, 2020.

According to the statement made by the Council, the regional election will not stop due to any external pressure and intervention. It goes further to say that the HoF’s decision, if any, to obstruct the regional elections is equivalent to waging a war on the people of Tigray.

Apart from this, the statement also pointed out that friends and enemies should know that the HOF and the PM are responsible for the subsequent consequences.

It is to be recalled that, following the decision to postpone the general election, the regional administration has subsequently requested the NEBE to facilitate its regional elections. However, the Board rejected the requests made by the regional Council saying it was unconstitutional.

In a statement NEBE issued on June 24, it rejected the regional state's request until after the COVID-19 pandemic was re-evaluated and that circumstances to hold elections have changed.

NEBE also said that based on its own constitutional mandate to facilitate and implement elections throughout the country, the regional state Council has no legal bases to decide on whether to hold a regional election as well as demand the Board to implement its decision.

To this effect, the regional Council has decided to conduct the election at a regional level, unilaterally, and establish an electoral commission, against the decision of the postponement of the 6th general election at a national level, by the federal government and the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The newly-established regional electoral commission headed by Muluwork Gebrekidan has announced that some five political parties and 11 individual candidates have registered to take part in the regional election, while Arena Tigray, and, Tigray Democratic Party, are boycotting the regional election saying it is not going to be free and fair.