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Voting Date Set for Referendum to Form New Region in Ethiopia

The national electoral board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has set February 6 as a voting date for a referendum to decide on the formation of the nation’s 12th federal region.

Birtukan Mideksa, Photo: ANADOLU AGENCY

The government granted 6 zones and 5 special districts currently under the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) a referendum on self-determination.

Africa’s second most populous nation has a federal system with 11 regions and the upcoming referendum will decide on forming a new fedral region.


The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) on Wednesday unveiled its detailed calendar for the referendum, slating February 6, 2023, as the voting date.

The announcement comes three weeks after the Board submitted a detailed action plan for the poll along with the required budget to the parliament for approval. Implementing the activities in the action plan, NEBE says, requires at least 541.2 million birr.

The board will hold the poll in six zones – Gamo, Gofa, Wolayta, Gedio, Konso, and South Omo, and five special districts – Burji, Amaro, Derashe, Basketo, and Alle.

Its calendar sets aside two weeks, starting Dec 20 for voters’ registration while giving fifteen weeks from Oct 17 for campaigning.

የኢትዮጵያ ብሔራዊ ምርጫ ቦርድ በደቡብ ብ/ብ/ሕ/ክልል በሚገኙ ስድስት ዞኖች እና አምስት ልዩ ወረዳዎች ላይ የሚያካሄደው ሕዝበ ውሣኔ የትግበራ አፈጻጸም ዝርዝር ዕቅድ ማሳያ ረቂቅ የጊዜ ሠሌዳ pic.twitter.com/X6cWOY3QsC

— National Election Board of Ethiopia- NEBE (@NEBEthiopia) October 12, 2022

Preliminary results will be revealed at the polling stations for five consecutive days starting from Feb 7, 2023.

The final result of the referendum will be announced by the board on February 15, as per the calendar.


The House of Federation passed the resolution to hold the referendum on August 18, 2022, after a petition filed by authorities of the six districts and five special districts.

The decision has paved the way for the third referendum to be held in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) in the last two years.

The Electoral Board previously conducted two referendums that led to the formation of two new regions, breaking away from the SNNPR.

The Sidama zone was the first to transform into Sidama Regional State on 18 June 2020 following a 98.52% vote in favor of autonomy in the 2019 poll.

One special district and five zones also split from the SNNPR and established a federal region, the South West Ethiopia Peoples’ Regional State, on 23 November 2021 after a majority vote in favor of autonomous rule in a referendum held on Sep. 30, 2021.

Ethiopian Monitor

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By Chala Dandessa

I am freelancer and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use caalaadd2@gmail.com as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of www.ethiopianstoday.com. Twitter https://www.twitter.com/caalaadd Instagram: https://www.intagram.com/caalaadd Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caalaaddofficial

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