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Ethiopia : New Election Day announced

There are places where there will not be voting during Election Day, the Board announced 

Election Day _ Ethiopia

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The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia on Thursday announced a new date for the sixth general election in the country. 

Voting day which was set to be June 5 is delayed by two weeks and the new date is June 21.

There are however exceptions.  In some areas where voter registration was delayed the election will not take place on the same day, said the Electoral Board’s Communication advisor, Solyana Shimeles, as reported by Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation. 

In some areas  where voter registration was started late due to a combination of logistical and security issues, a new day will be announced. 

There are also areas where there have been complaints about the voter registration process. Seven constituencies in the Somali region of Ethiopia, for example, said Mrs Solyana Shimeles, the board is still investigating. Implication is that in those constituencies, voting day will be different. 

Apart from that, there are also areas like Harari region that have been challenging the process in court and the case will have to be settled before election takes place. 

Worse, there are areas where voter registration has not started. In Metekel, Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia, one of the areas where there has been recurring massacres targeting ethnic Amhara, registration is not started. 

On the surface, the security situation in the area is given as the reason.  Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Amhara people, who lived in the area for several generations, have been displaced from the region following what appeared to be an orchestrated attack. 

The government seems to be adamant to return displaced people to the area. 

On the other hand, this week the government announced that it has allotted land and employment opportunities for those who were organizing the massacre.  The arrangement was done under the guise of “reconciliation.” 

Earlier this week, Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed convened a meeting of chairperson of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, Bertukan Mideksa, and leaders of regional states, some of whom are said to have expressed disappointment that the election is postponed. 

The sixth general election was initially scheduled to take place in August 2020 but was postponed due to the coronavirus situation in the country – an issue that created a constitutional crisis which was solved through constitutional inquiry. 

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Topic : Sixth General Election, New Election Day

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