Ethiopian voters turned out in large numbers on Thursday to cast ballots in the second round of the 6th parliamentary and regional council’s elections, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia said.
The Horn of Africa country had to conduct the second round of polls as scores of constituencies in several regional states missed out on the 6th parliamentary and regional councils’ elections held on June 21 due to logistics, security, or administrative issues.
The electoral board said that 7.7 million voters have been registered to cast ballots to elect their representatives at the federal parliament as well as regional councils.
Up for grabs in this episode are 375 regional councils’ seats and 47 federal parliament seats (House of Peoples’ Representatives), the board said, adding 22 political parties, and 106 independent candidates are in the run.
Following the June 21 election, the board has already declared the winner, with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's Prosperity Party capturing a majority of seats in both the federal parliament and regional councils in a landslide victory.
“No major hurdle has been encountered,” Bertukan Mideksa, president of the electoral board, said in a press briefing about the latest round of voting.
Due to security concerns, the polling staff could not conduct voting at a polling station in Moyalle, bordering the Somali and Oromia regional states, she said, adding: “We have reported the situation to both the regional states.”
This round of election also includes a referendum at 12 constituencies in Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPRS) to determine whether the Gofa zone becomes the 11th regional state in Ethiopia or remains with its status as a zonal administration.
There are scores of zonal administrations in the SNNPRS, a multinational regional state in southwestern Ethiopia, that have been trying to acquire the status of a regional state.