Delayed elections are underway Thursday in four regions of Ethiopia.
Voters in three regions will decide who wins dozens of parliamentary seats in the last round of voting before Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed forms a new government on Oct. 4.
Voters in the fourth region will decide whether to establish their own regional state.
The parliamentary elections are being held in the Somali region, the eastern city of Harar, and in the southwestern Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR).
Voters in SNNPR are also deciding whether or not to form a regional state.
The elections were delayed by a variety of voter registration irregularities, legal disputes, and security issues.
Abiy is facing mounting global pressure over the war in the northern region of Tigray. Conflict erupted in November 2020 between federal and allied regional forces and forces backed by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front.
Ethiopia’s parliament consists of 547 seats, 47 of which are being contested. Abiy’s party previously won 410 of the 436 parliamentary seats that were contested in the June election. It is uncertain when elections for the remaining seats, some of which are in Tigray, will take place.
The TPLF regained control of Tigray in June after months of fighting. The United Nations has said parts of Tigray are experiencing famine because of the war.
(Information for this article comes from Reuters and AFP.)