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News: Electoral Board requests more than 541 m birr budget to hold referendum in Southern state

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Addis Abeba – The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) said it has submitted a budget request amounting a total of 541,270,104.82 birr for the House of People’s Representatives (HoPR) for the upcoming referendum expected to be held in Southern Nation, Nationalities and People’s (SNNP) regional state.

The Board’s request follows a decision by the House of Federation (HoF) to hold a referendum in six zones and five Special Woredas in SNNP to pave ways for the creation of a new regional state. They are Gamo, Gofa, Wolaita, Gedeo, and Konso, and South Omo zones as well as Burji, Amaro, Derashe, Basketto and Ale special Woredas.

On August 05 Speaker of HoF Agegnehu Teshager informed the Electoral Board to organize the referendum and notify the House of the results. Accordingly, the Electoral Board said has prepared an action plan with a list of tasks needed to implement the referendum. As part of that the Board has presented the budget to the HoPR to implement the referendum.

In early August, local councils of several Zones and special districts in SNNP regional state have passed resolutions to restructure a merger in order to create two more regional states, bringing the number of new regional states out of the SNNP into four.

However, a decision by the HoF on a similar referendum in Hadiya, Halaba, Kembata Tmbaro and Silte zones, as well as the Yem Special Woreda has since been pending.

This will be the third referendum by the NEBE after it held the first on 23 November 2019 in which more than 2.3 million registered voters, cast their votes in 1,692 polling stations was the first such referendum that saw the creation of a new Sidama regional state out of the SNNP region. Two years later, in October 2021, five zones and one special wereda comprising Kaffa, Sheka, Bench Sheko, Dawuro and West Omo Zones, and Konta Special woreda held a referendum to merge and create a new regional state, Southwest Ethiopia People’s Regional State, becoming the second new regional state out of SNNP region. AS

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