Ethiopians are voting today Monday across the country, but in some constituencies may not be able to vote, because of insecurity and logistical issues.
Nearly 40 million voters have registered for the national and regional parliamentary elections.
The party that wins a majority of seats in the house of peoples’ representatives will form the next government.
This poll had been delayed twice since last year. Some members of the opposition have accused Ethiopia’s ruling party of harassment, manipulation and threats of violence.
The election is also taking place against the backdrop of war and famine in the northern Tigray region and questions over the poll’s credibility.
A second batch of voting will take place in early September to accommodate many of the districts not taking part on Monday.
Rwanda Leads Way In Gender Equality
Rwandan government has been hailed for leading way in gender parity.
A latest report by the Inter-Parliamentary Union dubbed ‘women in parliament’ (IPU) says Rwanda remains the world’s leading country with the most number of women in government positions. The analysis shows Rwanda was the only African country in this year’s top ten leading countries with women in politics.
Besides the 61% of the country’s parliamentary seats being occupied by women, the report also ranked Rwanda as the sixth country with women holding 50 %or more ministerial positions.
The report’s authors have said, women’s equal participation and leadership in political and public life are essential to achieving the sustainable development goals by 2030, citing that achieving gender parity in political life is far off, with the current data.
Besides Rwanda, there are only two parliaments where women account for above 50% of the seats. They include Cuba and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), occupying the second and third spots respectively.
For the first time, however, the global average of women in parliament reached a record-high 25.5%, an increase of 0.6% from the previous edition.
“Progress is being made, but parliaments must be more open to women. They should be gender-sensitive and transform their functioning and structures to facilitate work-life balance for women and men,” the IPU secretary-general, Martin Chungong, said.
The report said, at the current pace, it will take another 50years before gender parity is achieved in parliaments worldwide.
Ethiopia Says UN Role In Nile Dam Row ‘Unhelpful’
Ethiopia says United Nations role in Nile Dam row is unhelpful. The huge dam known as the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been a point of contention for a decade between Addis Ababa and downstream nations Egypt and Sudan. Ethiopia says the project is essential to its development and has started filling it. But the other two countries fear it could restrict their citizens’ water access.
Ethiopia has described as “unhelpful” the intervention of the U.N. in the long-running dispute over the Nile River mega-dam.
The county’s foreign affairs ministry said in a statement that it was “regrettable to witness that the progress of negotiations has been dragged and politicized”. Ethiopia said on Tuesday that the African Union-led process was important in addressing the concerns of the three concerns and that it was committed to seeing the process to a successful conclusion.
The statement added “Ethiopia has made its position clear time and time again that this is unproductive and bringing the subject matter to the United Nations security council was and is unhelpful and far from the mandate of the council.
EU To Train Mozambique Military Forces
The European Union (EU) has approved a military training mission in Mozambique to support armed forces there to protect the civilian population. Nearly a million persons have fled their homes amid jihadist violence there.
The EU mission says it aims to train and support Mozambique military in restoring security to northern Cabo Delgado which has been plagued by extreme violence amid jihadist attacks since 2017.
The mission, initially set to last for two years, will also involve “military training in operational preparation, specialized training in counter-terrorism, and training and education in the protection of civilians.
Over the last three years, more than twenty-eight hundred persons have died in the violence which has forced about 900,000 others from their homes.
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