Ethiopia extends voting in election at end of polling deadline

The Nation  |  Jun 21, 2021

Ethiopia extended by three hours the voting deadline in its ongoing sixth general elections on Monday, which were to end at 6 p.m. while people in the capital still lining up to cast their ballots.

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia announced in a statement that voting would continue until 9 p.m.

Solyana Shimeles, the board's communication director said that ballot-counting would begin right away and that every polling station would post their respective results.

Earlier, the board said voting had been largely successful. However, election officials had to close a polling station in the town of Ambo, 112 kilometers (70 miles) west of Addis Ababa, claiming they had received threats, with a ruling pending on the incident.

Ethiopian authorities used improved ballot boxes in these elections compared to previous polls in terms of transparency. Nearly 38 million voters have registered to elect 547 federal parliament members on Monday.

As many as 9,175 candidates have been listed by 47 political parties, while 125 are running as independents in the polls being conducted at more than 49,407 polling stations across the Horn of Africa country.

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But, voters in 78 of 547 constituencies will have to wait until Sept. 6 due to logistical, security and administrative hurdles.

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