Ethiopian parliament allows PM Abiy to stay in office beyond term
The move comes after elections scheduled for August were postponed in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ethiopia's parliament has approved allowing Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to stay in office beyond his mandate after elections planned for August were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The vote on Wednesday - 114 in favour, four against and one abstention - came two days after a leading opposition politician resigned as speaker in an apparent protest against the decision to delay the election.
"The House of Federation has approved a decision to extend the term of all assemblies until international health institutions have deemed the threat from coronavirus to be over," the Ethiopian News Agency reported on Wednesday, referring to the upper house of parliament.
Lawmakers did not specify when the new elections would happen, however, their vote was an endorsement of recommendations by the Council of Constitutional Inquiry, an advisory body that had held public meetings to decide a way forward after the delay.
The body recommended for the "elections to be held nine to 12 months after the coronavirus is deemed not to be a public health concern".
Ethiopia's election board announced in March that it would be impossible to organise the vote on time because of the pandemic, in which 2,506 infections have been confirmed in the country with 35 deaths.
The circumstances meant that the election could not happen before legislators' terms end in October. Read more...