Ethiopia Decides: The countdown to Ethiopia’s 6th National Elections begins

21 May 2021

…new date announced  

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced that the upcoming sixth national elections will be held on 21st June 2021. This follows a decision to postpone the elections, which were scheduled to take place on 6th June 2021, by two to three weeks, due to logistical reasons.

The board also passed the decision to hold the poll in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa City Administrations on the same day with the national election schedule.

…36 million Ethiopians register to vote

The news comes in as NEBE announced that more than 36 million Ethiopians have registered for the highly-anticipated elections, accounting for 78.3% of the expected number of voters.

The voter registration process, which was extended in some regions due to security concerns and other issues, concluded on 14th May.

…free and fair elections

The government of Ethiopia remains committed to holding free and fair elections than in previous years, setting the foundation for future elections. The upcoming elections will arguably be Ethiopia’s first free and fair elections.

Since 2018, the current administration has embarked on a path of democratisation with a commitment to widening the political space and enabling a conducive environment for democratic and informed discourse.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been convening Regional Presidents and the leadership of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) over the past few weeks to review progress and provide direction on addressing bottlenecks such as voter registration, polling station setup, and transportation of polling materials to each constituency.

In ensuring that the elections are peaceful, the Government organised the deployment of security forces at each polling station to complement regional electoral police in their work to ensure peace and security.

The Government of Ethiopia continues to be committed to holding democratic and peaceful elections and has shown goodwill in creating an enabling environment, within its capacity, for international election observers. In addition to domestic observers, international observer groups from the African Union, United States, European Union, and Russian Federation, as well as diplomatic staff from embassies located in Ethiopia, are set to observe the upcoming polls.

Ultimately, the Ethiopian people are the primary observers in ensuring legitimacy and whose commitment to peace and democracy is sought.

“In this election, vote for whoever you desire but put peace at the forefront. In this election, vote for whoever you desire but ensure that you have created a level playing field. There should not be any force that is unwanted or pushed away. We have a heartfelt desire for all those who believe they can serve Ethiopia to have a fair chance. It is only when this happens that Ethiopia will be a winner.” 

– Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

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