Abiy’s party is expected to take more than 410 of the 546 parliament seats in the first round of the contest, Ethiopia’s sixth national election.
Abiy, 44, took office in April 2018 following the resignation of his predecessor, becoming the first Oromo person to lead the country.
Opposition movements have expressed concerns about the integrity of the vote on June 21, Ethiopia’s first multiparty election in 16 years, albeit torn by conflict, imprisoned opposition members and parts of the country unable to vote.
That’s what the US State Department said before the vote last month. that it was “seriously concerned about the environment in which these upcoming elections” would be held.
A similar statement from European Union countries said the vote took place under “problematic circumstances”.
Abiy dismissed those accusations on Twitter last month, calling the vote Ethiopia’s “first attempt at free and fair elections”.
Of the 47 parties that took part in the general and regional elections, Abiy’s Prosperity Party led the list of registered candidates running for seats in parliament, with a total of 2,432 candidates.
Thirty-seven million of Ethiopia’s 109 million residents are registered to vote. However, many Ethiopians in conflict-ravaged areas will have to wait until September 6 to cast their vote, when the second round of voting will take place.