ADDIS ABABA: July 31 (EI) — The Ethiopian House of Peoples Representative (HoPR) on Wednesday approved a bill postponing local elections for Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa and Ethiopia’s second city, Dire Dawa, by a one year margin.
The HoPR, the Ethiopian parliament’s lower house, approved the bill to suspend council elections for Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa, following a request submitted by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) earlier this month, stating its inability to hold council elections due to time limitations.
The decision to postpone council elections for Ethiopia’s two largest cities could mean the local elections for the two cities could be held together with Ethiopia’s parliamentary elections, slated for May 2020.
The latest decision to postpone the local elections also came on the backdrop of a similar decision by the parliament last year to postpone council elections for Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa cities, which was previously scheduled to be held last year.
Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa with an estimated 5 million plus population is a major political, economic and social hub for the east African country.
The eastern Ethiopia city of Dire Dawa with an estimated population of around 300,000 people is also a major commercial hub of the country, as well as a major transit route for landlocked Ethiopia’s foreign trade through ports in Djibouti.