Ethiopian lawmakers have passed a resolution for the federal government to sever relations and contact with leaders of the northern Tigray region.
The decision, announced on Tuesday by Ethiopia’s upper house of parliament, comes after the Tigray region held its own election for the Tigray parliament despite the federal government and electoral board announcing the postponement of all elections.
Ethiopia was due to hold national elections in August, but the country’s poll body ruled in March that all voting would need to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tigray went ahead with its own unsanctioned elections for its regional parliament on September 9, with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), securing 189 of 190 seats.
While dismissing the Tigray vote as a “shanty election”, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ruled out dramatic retaliatory measures like a military intervention or cutting off Tigray’s funding.
In a statement, The House of Federation, which is Ethiopia’s upper house of parliament, said it “decided the federal government should sever any kind of relationship with the Tigray regional state assembly and the region’s highest executive body.”
Officials of the TPLF subsequently said they do not recognise the federal government.
It furthers the breakdown in relations between the Prime Minister and the TPLF, which dominated Ethiopian politics before Abiy came to power in 2018 and is still in command in Tigray.
The federal government will however continue offering “basic services” to people in the region through local institutions.