At a press conference the National Electoral Council of Ethiopia (NEBE) gave the media today, a date for a second round of elections in 54 constituencies was announced, although the date for the elections in these constituencies is on 21.>
Der The board announced that these constituencies affected by ballot errors will take place on September 6, 2021 along with 40 other constituencies where the NEBE previously said that elections could not take place due to security reasons and irregularities in voter registration. Elections will not take place as planned in all constituencies in the Somali region and in the southwest referendum.
Yesterday the Executive Board held a discussion with political parties on logistics and other issues. The discussion focused on the challenges the board faced in printing ballot papers. The chairman of the board of directors, Birtukan Mideksa, said that an examination carried out by the operations department of the board of directors had shown that the ballot papers had to be reprinted in 54 constituencies. According to Birtukan, in some constituencies there was a discrepancy between the ballot papers and the forms on which the results were published. She also spoke about party complaints regarding the funds allocated to them by the board.
A total of 54 constituencies found in seven regional states; Six in the Afar region, eleven in the Amhara region, two in the Benishangul Gumuz region, three in the Gambella region, two in the Oromia region, 15 in the region of the nationalities and peoples of the southern nations, 14 in the Somali region and one in the administration of the city of Dire Dawa will need their ballot papers to be reprinted, said Birtukan. The political parties that attended the meeting were asked to come up with solutions to the challenges and consequences of the meeting Reprinting and transport of ballot papers to the above-mentioned offices to be submitted to constituencies before election day. The board also mentioned IT-related issues for the deficit in ballot printing. Birtukan said the problem under investigation arose with the digitization of the works in connection with the 6th national elections. The parties suggested that the board consider the possibility of reprinting the Ballot on site. They also suggested holding elections in these constituencies next to constituencies previously identified as constituencies where elections cannot take place due to security threats. The board took note of the two options and requested a media briefing for the next day. Birtukan assured the political parties that the elections will take place on June 21st as planned.
Regarding the IT-related issues mentioned at yesterday’s meeting, the board said it was administrative Action taken against the staff was responsible for the bug in the ballot papers. According to Birtukan, some IT staff mishandled data due to negligence on their part. She also attributed part of the deficit to human error. The spokeswoman for the board, Soliyana Shimeles, told Addis Standard that the board had fired the head of the ICT department and another employee in the IT department.