What the Ethiopian parliament vote on Tigray means Analysis

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Ethiopian Members of Parliament attend an emergency meeting to lift the state of emergency, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Kalkidan Yibeltal BBC News, Addis Ababa

The decision by Ethiopia’s House of Federations, the upper house of parliament, to sever ties with leaders of the northern Tigray region does not mean an end of dealings between the federal government and the state’s administration.

The federal government will continue working with lower district administrative units, such as mayors and local councils, to provide “basic services”.

But it could mean that federal government funding to the regional authorities, such as the Tigray parliament, could come to an end.

The move comes after Tigray state conducted a regional election last month which parliament called “unconstitutional”, as it defied the electoral body’s decision to delay the elections because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tigrayan officials in turn accuse Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration of staying in power illegitimately after its term ended and using the pandemic to continue staying in power.

The northern region’s ruling party, Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, had been a dominant political force for close to three decades until Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018. Since then it emerged as a strong and vocal opposition to the Nobel Peace Prize winner.