National Electoral Board of Ethiopia is expected to announce official result of the election in the next two days
A day after what is said to be “Ethiopia’s first free and fair election,” polling stations that have completed ballot counting are disclosing results.
In a brief statement published on its social media page , the Board is asking for the public to wait for official results from the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia. It also discouraged results of candidates on social media before official disclosure.
On the other hand, two other organizations that deployed observers during the election remarked about the overall process.
Civic Organizations United for Election, which draws membership from 175 civil organizations in the country, has deployed about 3000 observers in six regional states and two city states ( Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa) – as reported by DW Amharic.
According to its observation, 98 percent of polling stations were open by 7 a.m, and 93 percent of its observers showed up on time to observe the election. It also said that 3 percent of its observers were not allowed, although they met the criteria set by the Election Board ( and relevant legislation).
Furthermore, it said that there were cases where polling stations were open in areas that were not supposed to be opened. But the reasons are unclear.
The Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) is another entity that deployed observers drawn from eight East African countries. A total of 28 observers were deployed. EASF said the election was conducted peacefully and that it was credible. There were, however, areas where there were security incidents. In the North Gonder, Dabat District, one policeman was killed as gunmen opened fire in a polling station. In West Shoa, near Ambo area, two security forces and one government official were killed when gunmen opened fire at the polling station. Voting was halted for hours, as reported by BBC Amharic.
However, there were cases where the election was halted for logistical reasons. In some of those areas, the Election Board decided the election to continue on Tuesday while the dates for others are not allowed.
In Sidama region, the voting was halted in 19 electoral regions and 1,998 polling stations due to shortage of ballot papers, as claimed by the Election Board. Based on the decision from the Board, the elections continued on Tuesday starting 11 a.m. local time, and it is confirmed that polls closed in the evening.
There were similar cases in the Gambella region of Ethiopia.
In Assosa, Benishangul Gumuz region, voting was halted in 102 polling stations for the same reason, But for this one, the Board is yet to determine when voting will be organized.
As reported before, there are also areas where elections will take place on September 6. These were areas where security, or insecurity rather, is an issue.