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Ethiopia's electoral board sets tentative August date for elections

Credit: REUTERS/TIKSA NEGERI

Ethiopia's electoral board said on Wednesday it expects to hold national elections on Aug. 16, 2020, the first vote under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who took office in 2018 and has directed political and economic reforms.

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ADDIS ABABA, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Ethiopia's electoral board said on Wednesday it expects to hold national elections on Aug. 16, 2020, the first vote under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who took office in 2018 and has directed political and economic reforms.

Birtukan Mideksa, the head of the electoral board, told Reuters that the date was tentative.

Abiy released political prisoners and appointed former dissidents to high-level positions.

But the reforms have also unleashed long-simmering ethnic divisions, and the electoral board said last June that the security situation could delay this year's election.

But Abiy, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year, said last week elections would be held this year in May or June despite concerns over security and logistics.

(Reporting by Dawit Endeshaw; Writing by Omar Mohammed; Editing by Katharine Houreld)

((omar.mohammed@thomsonreuters.com; +254 20 499 1232; Reuters Messaging: omar.mohammed.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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