Ethiopia's president on Monday cast her ballot in the country's sixth parliamentary and regional councils elections.
President Sahle-work Zewde appeared at a polling station in the Kirkos sub-city of the capital Addis Ababa, noting that this was her first time participating in an election as a voter because she had been outside the country "most of the time" during previous votes, referring to her long years as diplomat.
A seasoned diplomat who led African Union observation missions to various countries, the president said the election "is not an end in itself, it is a process."
"The winner would be magnanimous and the losers would be gracious in accepting the results of the election," she said, adding that losing would not amount to rejection, but a call for preparation for the next election.
More than 37.4 million voters are voting in the elections across the country.
Meanwhile, president of National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), Bertukan Mideksa, said: "So far, the voting has been peaceful with no major hiccup."
She said that in most polling stations, voting began at 6 a.m., local time (0300GMT).