2021 Ethiopian general election

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2021 Ethiopian general election

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All 547 seats in the House of Peoples' Representatives
274 seats needed for a majority
  Abiy Ahmed during state visit of Reuven Rivlin to Ethiopia, May 2018.jpg Birhanu Nega.png Merera Gudina.png
Leader Abiy Ahmed Berhanu Nega Merera Gudina
Party Prosperity Party Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice Medrek
Last election 512 seats New party 0 seats
Current seats 512 New party 0 seats
Seats needed Steady Increase 274 Increase 274

Leader Mohammed Omar Osman Belete Molla Mamushet Amare
Party Ogaden National Liberation Front National Movement of Amhara All Ethiopian Unity Party
Last election New party New party 0 seats
Current seats New party New party 0 seats
Seats needed Increase 274 Increase 274 Increase 274

Leader Eskinder Nega
Party Balderas Party
Last election New Party
Current seats New Party
Seats needed Increase 274

Incumbent Prime Minister

Abiy Ahmed
Prosperity Party

General elections were supposed to be held in Ethiopia on 29 August 2020 to elect officials to the House of Peoples' Representatives,[1] but were delayed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[2] Regional and municipal council elections were also planned to be held at the same time around the country.[3] In May the sitting House of Representatives voted to postpone the election until 2021.[4] In late December 2020, the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) stated that it would take place on 5 June 2021,[5] before being delayed[6] to 21 June. It will be the first multi-party election in Ethiopia since 2005.[7]

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 new party's first leader.[citation needed]

Bekele Gerba and Jawar Mohammed were imprisoned on 30 June 2020 following the crackdown by the government following Hachalu Hundessa’s murder.[8] On 19 September 2020, both were charged with terrorism.[9][10] Jawar denied the charges and claimed the arrests were politically motivated.[9] Both Bekele and Jawar are members of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC).[10] The Oromo Liberation Front is also boycotting the election with both parties claiming that the results will be rigged under the Prime Minister.[11] Both parties were planning to participate but have officially withdrawn from the election due to their boycott.[12]


The upcoming election is overshadowed by a war and a myriad of massacres in various parts of the country.


Metekel is a district in northwestern Ethiopia where targeted ethnic massacres have been happening regularly[13][14][15][16][17][18][19] in the past three years. The massacres [20] have been deemed to be as genocidal acts[21] by some where formal investigation is being conducted in order to bring the perpetrators and their chain of command to trial.


Shashamane is a town south of Addis Ababa and was the scene of a massacre[22][23][24][25][26] where Orthodox Christians and ethnic Amharas were targeted. The violence was triggered by the murder of singer Hachalu Hundessa in Addis Ababa. An umbrella humanitarian organization, OTAGE, has engaged a legal firm, specialising in international crimes, to bring those responsible to justice.

Mai Kadra[edit]

Mai Kadra is a small town in northwestern Ethiopia where a massacre[27][28][29][30][31] was perpetrated against the civilian population based on their Amhara ethnicity. The atrocities are alleged to have been perpetrated by militia linked to TPLF.

Tigray War[edit]

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.[32]

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.[33] TPLF was then dissolved by NEBE.[34]

There have been various reports of war crimes[35][36][37][38][39][40][41] committed against civilians since the breakout of the war.

Parties and coalitions[edit]

Party Main ideologies Political position Leader Current seats
Prosperity Party Civic nationalism
Centre Abiy Ahmed
Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice Liberalism
Ethiopian nationalism
Centre Berhanu Nega
No seats
Medrek Social democracy Centre-left Merera Gudina
Ogaden National Liberation Front Somali nationalism Centre-left Mohammed Omar Osman
National Movement of Amhara Amhara nationalism Right-wing Belete Molla
All Ethiopian Unity Party Federalism Centre-right Mamushet Amare
Balderas Party Conservative liberalism
Addis Ababa localism
Centre-right Eskinder Nega


In addition to the Tigray War, there have also been reports of delays in both constituencies and entire regions due to security concerns and logistics.


On May 22, the National Election Board of Ethiopia announced that 40 constituencies in six regions will not hold elections on the same day, but rather later date. According to the Board, this was from a lack of voter registration, logistical issues, and security problems in many constituencies.[42]


On June 6, the National Election Board further stated that due to irregularities in printing ballot papers, the elections in the Harari region and the Somali region will be held in a second round on September 6. This also came when the board announced voting would not take place in the war-torn Tigray Region. Combined, these regions constitute 63 out of 547 seats.[43]



  1. ^ Endeshaw, Dawit (2020-01-15). "Ethiopia sets tentative August date for elections". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  2. ^ "NEBE Says Impossible To Hold Election As Per Scheduled Due To COVID-19". fanabc.com. 31 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  3. ^ "African election calendar 2020". Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa. 2020. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  4. ^ "የህገ መንግስቱ ሶስት አንቀጾች ትርጓሜ እንዲሰጥባቸው በፓርላማ ተወሰነ" [Parliament has decided to interpret three articles of the constitution] (in Amharic). National Election Board of Ethiopia. 5 May 2020. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Ethiopian electoral board sets June 5 for national polls - Xinhua | English.news.cn". www.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
  6. ^ "Ethiopia delays polls again amid security, logistical challenges". Al Jazeera. 15 May 2021.
  7. ^ "Ethiopia to hold delayed elections on June 21 - vote board". Reuters. 20 May 2021.
  8. ^ "Why Ethiopian gov't arrested Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba". Borkena Ethiopian News. 2020-06-30. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  9. ^ a b "Jawar Mohammed: Top Ethiopia opposition figure 'proud' of terror charge". BBC News. 2020-09-21. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  10. ^ a b "Ethiopia files terrorism charges against opposition leaders". Yahoo! News. 2020-09-19. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  11. ^ "Ethiopia: Oromo Opposition Party to Boycott 2021 Elections". stratfor.com. Dec 9, 2020.
  12. ^ "Oromo Liberation Front takes queue after OFC, opted out of Election". Borkena.com. 03/05/2021. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ "Anger, fear run deep after months of ethnic violence in western Ethiopia". The New Humanitarian. 2021-02-23. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  14. ^ Gardner, Tom. "All Is Not Quiet on Ethiopia's Western Front". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  15. ^ "Over 80 killed in attack in Ethiopian border region with Sudan - state rights commission". Reuters. 2021-01-13. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  16. ^ Birhanu, Tsegaye (2020-12-29). "The murky politics behind the Metekel massacres". Ethiopia Insight. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  17. ^ "In shadow of Tigray war, ethnic massacres roil western Ethiopia". France 24. 2021-02-12. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  18. ^ "More than 100 killed in ethnic massacre in Ethiopia". PBS NewsHour. 2020-12-23. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  19. ^ Ababa, Staff and agencies in Addis (2020-12-23). "At least 102 killed in massacre in western Ethiopia after Abiy visit". The Guardian. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  20. ^ Marks, Simon; Walsh, Declan (2021-01-13). "Dozens Die in Ethnic Massacre in Troubled Ethiopian Region". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  21. ^ Al Jazeera (2021-01-26). "Over 80 civilians killed in latest west Ethiopia massacre: EHRC". genocidewatch. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  22. ^ Gebremariam, Kebadu Mekonnen (2020-08-09). "Why Ethnic Cleansing in Ethiopia Was Triggered by a Musician's Murder but Did Not Arise from It". Medium. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  23. ^ Tebeje, Alyou. "Concealing the Amara Genocide Is Promoting Amara Massacre!". EthioPoint: Ethiopians Analysis | Research Articles. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  24. ^ "Ethiopia : The People who are being slaughtered for no reason". Borkena Ethiopian News. 2020-08-11. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  25. ^ "'My son died the worst kind of death': Horrific details of violent unrest in Ethiopia". The Mail & Guardian. 2020-07-14. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  26. ^ "How a musician's death unleashed violence and death in Ethiopia". The Guardian. 2020-08-03. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  27. ^ Ochab, Dr Ewelina U. "Mass Atrocities, including the use of rape and sexual violence, in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  28. ^ "Ethiopia: Investigation confirms scores of civilians killed in Tigray state massacre". www.amnesty.org.uk. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  29. ^ "Ethiopian Rights Commission Alleges 'Atrocious Massacre' in Tigray | Voice of America - English". www.voanews.com. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  30. ^ "Ethiopia: Investigation reveals evidence that scores of civilians were killed in massacre in Tigray state". www.amnesty.org. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  31. ^ Zelalem, Zecharias. "Survivors recount horrific details of Mai Kadra massacre". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  32. ^ "Ethiopia's Tigray region defies PM Abiy with 'illegal' election". France 24. 2020-09-09. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  33. ^ "Tigray Interim Administration, Residents of Mekelle City Conducting Discussion". Ethiopian News Agency. 2020-12-25. Archived from the original on 2020-12-26. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  34. ^ "Ethiopia Pulls Tigray Party License Ahead of June Elections". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  35. ^ "Eritrean troops massacre hundreds of civilians in Axum, Ethiopia". www.amnesty.org. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  36. ^ "Massacre 'of 750' reported in Aksum church complex, Tigray, Ethiopia". www.churchtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  37. ^ "Ethiopia: Eritrean Forces Massacre Tigray Civilians". Human Rights Watch. 2021-03-05. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  38. ^ Arvanitidis, Barbara, Nima Elbagir, Bethlehem Feleke, Eliza Mackintosh, Gianluca Mezzofiore and Katie Polglase. "Massacre in the mountains: How an Ethiopian festival turned into a killing spree". CNN. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  39. ^ Feleke, Bethlehem , Eliza Mackintosh, Gianluca Mezzofiore, Katie Polglase and Nima Elbagir. "Analysis of massacre video raises questions for Ethiopian Army". CNN. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  40. ^ "In an out-of-sight war, a massacre comes to light". Los Angeles Times. 2021-03-19. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  41. ^ "Evidence suggests Ethiopian military carried out massacre in Tigray". BBC News. 2021-04-01. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  42. ^ "Electoral Board Issues List of 40 Constituencies in Six Regions Where Elections Wont Take Place per Schedule". Addisstandard. 2021-05-22.
  43. ^ "Ethiopia postpones vote in two regions citing irregularities". Reuters. 2021-06-10.