Ethiopia postpones voters’ registration for general elections, citing regional delays

A man holds a national flag as he waits in the stands to give blood at a blood drive in support of the country’s military, at a stadium in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. Rallies occurred in multiple cities in support of the federal government’s military offensive against the Tigray regional government, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

 Ethiopia’s agency to manage elections on Monday announced postponement of voters’ registration for the country’s sixth general elections this year, citing challenges like delayed support from regions.

In a press statement, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia said the registration is re-scheduled to start on March 25 and last until April 23. Previously, it had been slated to fall on March 1-25.

In regard to the reasons, the independent institution cited delays in opening constituency offices, lack of transportation for the distribution of election materials, and the “thorough and time-consuming” process of recruiting independent constituency officers, among others.

Ethiopia planned to hold its general elections in August 2020. In June last year, its upper house of parliament approved a recommendation to postpone the elections over concerns for COVID-19. Later in December, the electoral board tentatively set June 5, 2021 as the date for the elections.

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