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Ethiopia’s general election facing low voter registration turn out

Some opposition party say deadline for voter registration should be extended amid low turn out for Ethiopia’s sixth general election

borkena

Voter registration for Ethiopia’s sixth general election has been underway for several days now. As it turns out, the number of registered voters is lower than expected. 

With only three days left for the deadline, some opposition party leaders are calling for extension of registration day.

Ethiopia’s state media, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), spoke to chairman of Ethiopian Social Democratic Party, professor Beyene Petros. 

“It is difficult to say an election is organized if the voter registration is low,” he said. 

Citing that the Board itself is aware of the situation, he added that an extension of the registration deadline is necessary. 

Girma Seifu,is executive committee member of Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (EZEMA). He tends to hold similar views. 

There were reports that polling stations outside of Addis Ababa were not open due to security situations which means no voter registration took place.

On Monday, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) said that it has received reports that some polling stations are running out of registration books after registering 1500 voters. But the board explained that not more than 1500 voters are supposed to be registered in a single polling station. It announced that it will have to create “sub-polling stations” in areas needed.  

State media also reported that Afar region voter registration started this week.

The overall response to the election in most parts of the country, especially in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, seems to be rather that of indifference. It seems to have something to do with the ongoing massacre targeting Amahra. There were even protests against the election in some places. 

On Tuesday this week, massive demonstrations took place in several cities in the region demanding actions from the government to protect Amhara.  

Meanwhile, Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice, Freedom and Equality Party, and 19 other independents candidates announced that they are not running in the region due to alleged harassment from the regional government. 

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Topics : Voter Registration, Sixth General Election, Ethiopia


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