ADDIS ABABA – Nearly half of the polling stations have not started operation due to security and other logistical issues affecting voters’ registration for the 2021 general elections in Ethiopia.
There are 50,000 polling stations in the country but only 25,151 of them are currently operational, said National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) officials during their with political parties on Wednesday.
Chairperson of the Board, Birtukan Midekssa, said only about half of the polling stations across the country are registering voters.
Afar and Tigray regional states have not started to voters’ registration process.
Polling stations in the remaining regions and city administrations are registering voters albeit at different levels.
According to Birtukan, security challenges have become the reason for not opening 4126 polling stations and beginning registering voters.
Areas like Horo Guduru, four zones of Wollega of Oromia region are among those where registration is not underway.
Similarly, some parts of Amhara and Benishangul-Gumuz regionals states are areas where voting stations are not operating.
“We could not carry out the process while witnessing conflicts flaring up here and there in these areas,” Birtukan told the political parties.
Challenges related to logistics particularly transportation, in some places, are blamed for not opening up the voting stations on time.
During the meeting, the Board said, as of Wednesday, 200,903 residents of Addis Ababa have registered to vote.
According to the NEBE’s election schedule, voters’ registration, which began on March 25 will continue until April 23. 2021.