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Ethiopian election 'peaceful and credible': African Union observers

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Ben Curtis/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


The head of the African Union's election observer mission in Ethiopia, Olusegun Obasanjo, reports his team's findings that Ethiopia's legislative and regional elections were "conducted in an orderly, peaceful and credible manner."

The former Nigerian president on Wednesday said "despite some operational, logistical, Covid-19, security, and political challenges - most of which we have mentioned - overall, the election and election day processes were conducted in an orderly, peaceful and credible manner."

Vote counting continues to hold following the elections that went ahead without polling in the northern Tigray region.

Some 38 million people were registered to vote but many did not cast a ballot on Monday, with elections postponed or cancelled in a fifth of national constituencies because of war, insecurity and logistical problems.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed nonetheless declared Monday "a historic day for Ethiopia".

"All sections of society have gone out to cast their voice in our nation's first free and fair election," the 44-year-old leader posted on Twitter, alongside images of crowds waiting to vote.

"Pictures are a thousand words and they show the earnestness, commitment to peace and the democratic process, by our people."

Results are not expected for several days as ballots are counted in the vast nation of 110 million.