ADDIS ABEBA – The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) said it will announce the result of the Sidama referendum tomorrow, November 23, 2019.
The vote – which took place on Wednesday – would create an autonomous region for the Sidama. The zone is currently part of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples region.
The results of the ballot were posted at each polling station on Wednesday night.
The results have now transported to the 15 coordination offices from all the polling stations, said the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia in a statement posted on its official Facebook page.
The board also said the result of Wednesday’s vote will be made official on Saturday, November 23.
Sidama voters described the referendum as the achievement of a lifetime while Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called it “an expression of the democratization path Ethiopia” is currently on.
“The Sidama referendum is an expression of the democratization path Ethiopia has set out on,” he twitted shortly after polls opened. He also called “upon all to engage peacefully throughout the process.”
If the referendum passes as expected, the new state, largely home to the Sidama ethnic group, who make up about 4% of the country’s population, will control local taxes, education, security and laws.