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Voter registration deadline extended due to schedule offset

In the parts of Ethiopia where there was latest massacre of Amhara , new deadlines are not yet introduced

Image : NEBE

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The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia on Friday announced that it has extended the deadline for voter registration. 

The decision came a day after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had a meeting with authorities of the Board and heads of regional states and city administrations. 

According to the schedule that the Board announced before, voter registration was supposed to be completed on April 23. However, Voter registration turnout was low and there were also places where it did not happen at all due to security problems, as disclosed by the Election Board. 

There were also logistical problems, as disclosed by the Election Board Chairwomen, Bertukan Mideksa, during a meeting with PM Abiy Ahmed on Thursday. 

In a statement released on Friday, the Board said there have been improvements in the number of voter registration compared  to last week including in areas where it started late as in the case of Afar and Somali regions of Ethiopia. 

According to the Board, as of April 23, 2021 18, 427,239 people have been registered across 41,659 polling stations across the country. 

The new deadlines are not all the same. Some places have longer deadlines than others. In Somali and Afar regions, where voter registration started late due to security and other issues, it is extended up to May 14, 2021. 

In areas where it was paused after it was started due to a combination of factors including security, the new deadline is May 7, 2021. 

The Board also said that there are areas where voter registration is not started at all – in the four zones of Wollega. And the Board said that it is working to start registration. It means that the deadlines for registration in those areas will be longer. 

The situation in Benishangul Gumuz is similar. The process was impeded, like Wollega region of Ethiopia, on similar grounds. 

In areas in North Shoa and South Wollo (both in Amhara regions), where there had been a massacre of Amhara for several days, the registration was halted. More than 250,000 people were displaced from several cities.  

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia did not give new deadlines for those regions. And it said that it will announce deadlines and   the circumstances under which voter registration will start in those regions

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