Over 2.9m Voters Registered for Referendum in SNNPR

ADDIS ABABA – The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) says more than 2.9 people have registered to vote in the referendum to decide on the formation of a new federal region in the country.

The House of Federation granted 6 zones and 5 special districts, currently under the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR), a referendum on self-determination.

Accordingly, the Electoral Board has set Feb 6 to hold the referendum in Gamo, Gofa, Wolayta, Gedio, Konso, and South Omo Zones as well as five special districts including Burji, Amaro, Derashe, Basketo, and Alle.

Residents of the 11 zones and districts have been registering to vote since December 20, 2022.

The Chairwoman of the board Birtukan Mideksa said the registration process has taken place in a peaceful manner despite some irregularities observed in some areas in the first week.

A total of 2, 934,143 people have registered to vote so far, according to the chairwoman.

The number, however, doesn’t include the voters registered in the 24 stations where the board decided to hold the registration again this week.

Residents of the 11 zones and special districts will cast their votes referendum on February 6, 2023. More than 5,200 local and foreign observers will be deployed to observe the vote in 3, 771 polling stations.

The preliminary results will be revealed at the polling stations for five consecutive days starting from Feb 7, 2023. The board will announce the final result on February 15, as per its calendar.

Africa’s second most populous nation has a federal system with 11 regions. The upcoming referendum will decide on creating a new federal region.

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