Ethiopians pray for peaceful voting ahead of key elections Ethiopian News

Wrapped in a sacred white cloth, the procession silently marched to the priest, who called the faithful to celebrate the revered Archangel Michael in Ethiopia.

At dawn, thousands of worshipers gathered at Ethiopia’s second-largest Amhara church, which is holding a long-awaited election on Monday.

The devotees. Some bent on canes and others, with children squeezing, prayed to St. Michael in a church named after him, topped by metal crosses in the city of Bahir Dar and the soaring Ethiopian flag.

“This is a wonderful day for us … In our faith we pray to St. Michael to bring us peace, to protect us from evil,” said Huluaser Kinde, a 27-year-old worshiper.

Leaving the church, Ebabou segana, whose forehead was cross-painted with ashes, said the vote was “essential” for Ethiopia.

“I am very happy to go and vote, because I am going to choose those who are going to lead me and introduce me,” said the 29-year-old elementary school teacher.

Prime Minister Abi Ahmed, who came to power in 2018 against popular protests against the government, has promised to hold the most competitive elections in Ethiopia to date.

Monday marks his first election test as the prime minister launched a series of democratic and economic reforms.

But many voters, including parts of the Amhara, will have to wait until September to cast their ballots due to riots and logistical problems, with nearly one-fifth of Ethiopian voters postponing the election.

There will be no elections at all during the war in Tigray, near the Amhara.

Gahilat Warku, another worshiper of the Bahիր’ Դ Dari Church, hoped that voters would “accept the results of Monday’s poll” peacefully.

“We pray that every Ethiopian candidate will accept the results,” said the 34-year-old doctoral student.

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