ADDIS ABABA – At least five regions are yet to provide spaces for The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) offices at local level which will help the board use to register candidates cometing for 2021 national elections, says voting board.
NEBE has already registered election symbols of all legally registered political parties in Ethiopia last week. According to its schedule, the next step is registering candidates that will compete in the 6th general elections.
The activity, however, has faced challenges from the onset after a significant number of regions have failed to provide spaces that will be used as offices to register candidates.
The board has already requested to the regions regarding regional electoral offices, coordination offices in zone and warehouses.
Since the Board reiterated its request about the issue all regions on January 11, 2021, four regions and two city administrations, Addis Abeba and Dire Dawa, have managed to act. It has already started distributing of election materials to polling stations as of Wednesday.
Afar, Amhara, Sidama, SNNP and Somali regions are the states that are yet to respond partially or entirely to the NEBE’s request for the space.
Election officials fear the inactivity could affect their schedule – which set aside 14 days, starting from Feb 15, as candidates’ registration period.
The board said, without securing the spaces, it would be difficult to send election materials including computers and generators to the regions.
It could affect the voting schedule and planned training for people involved in the election process.
The NEBE said the board will stick with its schedule to register candidates in regions and cities where it has managed to secure office spaces. These are, apart from the two city administrations, Oromia, Benishangule-Gumuz, Gambela, and Harrari regional states.
It will start register candidates in the remaining regions when they respond to NEBE’s request and provide office spaces, the board said.
The board slated June 5 as Election Day, after the elections scheduled for August last year were postponed due to COVID 19.