By Hannatu Sadiq
Vote counting in Ethiopia is still ongoing following Monday’s parliamentary elections.
Spokeswoman of National Election Board of Ethiopia, Solyana Shimeles gave report of an impressive turnout but declined to give figures.
“We have done with the election day yesterday and which was largely peaceful except for two polling stations where we had some incidents, one is like in Oromia region where our poll workers reported that they had been threatened so they left polling station on midday and that was it.
The other incident was in Amhara region, where individuals, who were in the line, were fighting each other so polling was disruptred for some time,” NEBE’s Solyana Shimeles said.
Other than those two polling stations, some 110, a fifth of the East African nation’s, could not allow voters to participate in the elections, as a result of the ongoing war in Tigray, logistical issues and insecurity.
Nevertheless, those who could vote said they were happy to go to the polls.
“Ethiopia had in time past recorded unfair elections as it was under dictatorship regime. It was difficult to hold free and fair elections, even though that administration claimed to be free and fair. This time around, is very transparent, that makes me happy. The procedure was very nice,” Geremew Ararsa said after casting his vote.
In a statement published on social media, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed welcomed the “nation’s first free and fair election”.
“Pictures are a thousand words and they show the earnestness, commitment to peace and the democratic process, by our people,” he said on Twitter.
Abiy was facing voters for the first time since coming to power in 2018, and his ruling party is expected to secure a comfortable majority.
Some opposition parties reported dissatisfaction, alleging voting interference and intimidation of their observers at polling station despite the reports recorded so far.
NEBE said the much anticipated results should be published in the next few days.