– Following an announcement of the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) to postpone the South West Regional referendum, Kaffa and Daworo zones voiced their disappointment. Officials from both zones said in statements that the unilateral decision did not take into consideration the factors that led to this referendum.
Kaffa Zone’s Prosperity Party (PP) Bureau denounced the decision. Endashaw Kebede, PP Chairman, in the presser stated: ”While we are almost fulfilling the essential prerequisites for the referendum, its postponement is groundless in our zone context.” He called NEBE to reexamine its decision so that the referendum can be conducted on the scheduled date, June 21, 2021.
Belay Tessema, Kaffa Zone’s vice administrator, expressed his concern saying ,” The postponement of the referendum by the National Election Board of Ethiopia unilaterally, without involving the zonal administrations and the special woreda’s officials, is unacceptable and unjustifiable.”
The Dawuro zone administration released a statement that demanded NEBE to revise its decision. It articulated that “The decision does not take into consideration the current situation of our zone and our people are disappointed who are morally and psychologically ready to actively participate in the process of state building.” It requested the board to conduct the election as planned previously, June 21, 2021 instead of September 6, 2021.
Following the due legal process, including the House of Federation unanimous approval,five zonal administrations and one district in the region namely, Kaffa, Sheka, Bench Sheko, Dawuro and West Omo Zones, and Konta Special district are coming together to form a single regional state, the South West by breaking away from South Nations Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNP). The formation was to be decided by a referendum held as part of the 6th national election agenda.