Ethiopia: TPLF lifted SoE measures,elections to be treated as Self-determination

TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael says election is an exercise of self-determination which he says is in the Ethiopian constitution

Tigray _ Debretsion _ TPLF
Debretsion Gebremichael. (photo file : TRCB)

June 7, 2020

Barely two weeks after a young man was killed over alleged violation of the state of emergency measure in Mekelle, Tigray Regional State announced on Saturday that it has lifted the state of emergency measures that it imposed about two months ago as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of Coronavirus pandemic.

Rural-urban mobility and movements between towns were banned, among other measures. The decision is in effect as of Monday, June 8, 2020.

Explaining why it is lifted now, acting head of the regional state and chairman of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) Debretsion Gebremichael said that the restrictions are now removed to stimulate economic activities – as reported by Deutsche Welle Amharic service.  The economic impact of Coronavirus has been severe in the Tigray region – he added.

A report by VOA Amharic said that driving license training schools are permitted to start classes on condition that they have only ten students in the class.

Bars can re-open, too. And the condition is that they will operate until 8 p.m. and must operate “with caution”, as reported by VOA Amharic.

State emergency measures introduced by the Federal government to arrest the spread of Coronavirus are still in effect. However, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to grow at an alarming rate. Tigray is one of the regions where confirmed Coronavirus cases are reported daily.

In a press statement with media outlets in Tigray on Saturday, Debretsion also recalled that a political decision has been made to conduct an election which he equated with a constitutional “self-determination” right. The Federal government sent a stern warning that no election is allowed in the country outside of the recognition of the election board. With TPLF’s leadership intransigence and defiance in going about the election in the region, it is unclear as to what could transpire in the region.

We are having a conversation with political parties, in the region, that have agreed with the decision to conduct the election in August, Debretsion said, implying that there are parties in the region who did not agree with the decision.  Arena Tigray is one of the biggest opposition parties in the region and it does not support elections in August of this year. The Tigray branch of the ruling party, Prosperity Party, has condemned TPLF for its decision about election.

Debretsion also talked about the protests in the region in connection with arrangements for local government. He said people have the right to protest but criticized road blockades.

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