Ethiopians in Three Regions Vote in Delayed Election

Ethiopians in three regions where elections had been delayed head to the polls on Thursday to vote for their representatives and one area will also vote on whether to form its own regional state.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will form the next government regardless of the results from late voting. His party already won with 410 of the 436 parliamentary seats that were contested in the June vote.

Thursday’s vote takes place in the Somali region, where registration irregularities delayed voting; Harar, where registration issues and a legal dispute caused delays; and in the southwestern Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), where ballot and security issues delayed polls.

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Voters in part of SNNPR are also voting in a referendum on whether to break away and form their own regional state, which would make it Ethiopia’s 11th. Residents hope statehood could gain the region more autonomy and federal funding.

Ethiopia has 547 parliamentary seats. Forty-seven seats are being contested on Thursday. It is unclear when the delayed elections for the remaining seats, some of which are in Tigray, will take place.

Abiy is due to form his new government on Oct. 4.

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