ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s parliament postponed a national census for a second time on Monday, citing security concerns. The decision potentially undermines logistics for the first election under reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Ethiopia is due to hold a national vote sometime next year, and the census – already postponed once in 2017 – is crucial for demarcating constituencies. The decision of delaying the census again by a year was made due to an upsurge in ethnic conflicts that has forced 2.4 million Ethiopians out of their homes as per the United Nations figures.
Lawmaker Tesfaye Daba says “Our people are still displaced in many parts of the country. Therefore, I don’t think it is wise to conduct the census this year.” William Davison, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, feels otherwise, ‘the decision will disrupt election logistics.’ “Preparations for those polls are also behind schedule … this is therefore perhaps another indication that elections will be pushed back,” he adds. (Agencies)