Delayed elections in Ethiopia’s three regions commenced on Thursday for Ethiopians to vote for their representatives and one area will also vote on whether to form its own regional state.
Registration issues and a legal dispute delayed votes in the Somali region of Harar, and ballot and security issues delayed polls in the southwestern Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR).
Voters in part of SNNPR are also voting in a referendum on whether to breakaway and form their own regional state, which would make it Ethiopia’s 11th. Residents hope statehood could gain the region more autonomy and federal funding.
Regardless of the results from late voting, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will form the next government on October 4.
His party already won 410 of the 436 parliamentary seats that were contested in the June vote.
Ethiopia has 547 parliamentary seats. Forty-seven seats are being contested on Thursday. It is unclear when the delayed elections for the remaining seats, some of which are in war-torn northern region of Tigray, will take place.