Voting date set for Referendum Rerun in Wolaita

ADDIS ABABA – The National Electoral Board has set June 19 as the voting date for the referendum rerun in the Wolaita zone.

The board announced a new calendar months after it canceled the results of the Feb Poll due to several misconducts.

The issue is a subject of an ongoing investigation by the federal police. At least 94 of the 134 individuals suspected of having a major role in the electoral misconduct are in custody.

The electoral board on Monday published the new schedule for Wolita zone referendum rerun which has slated June 19 as voting date.

This time, the board says it will increase the polling stations from 692 to 1500 and poll workers from 5,560 to 9,020.

As per the calendar, voters’ registration will simultaneously be held on the same day the election will take place.

Nearly a million people are expected to cast their vote in 1,804 polling stations.

The results will be made official a week later on June 26, as per the new schedule.

New region in the pipeline

Apart from Wolita, the board conducted the referendum to form Ethiopia’s 12th state in South Omo, Gamo, Gedeo, and Gofa zones, as well as five special districts of Burji, Basketo, Ale, Amaro, and Derashe.

The outcome shows the majority of the four zones and the five special districts voted for creating a “Southern Ethiopia” regional state.

Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, currently has a federal system with 11 regions. The latest referendum is expected to add a new federal region.