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The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) says delays in budget disbursal have forced it to postpone elections for parliamentary seats in four regional states.

Election officials had planned to conduct polls in Afar, Benishangul-Gumuz, Somali, and Central Ethiopia to fill seats that have been vacant since the sixth national elections took place two and a half years ago.

Although Parliament had previously approved a 320 million birr budget for the elections
scheduled to take place in May 2024, the budget has yet to materialize and polls have been
pushed back by a month, according to the Board.

Among the preparations that are being held back by the lack of funding is ballot printing, which is done abroad, according to Melatework Hailu, who was recently appointed to head NEBE.

Polls have been rescheduled to June 2024, disclosed Melatework.

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The scheduled polling will only fill a fraction of Parliament’s 96 vacant seats. Most – including 38 reserved for constituencies in Tigray, 19 in Amhara, and 8 in Oromia – will remain vacant for the foreseeable due to security concerns, according to the Board.

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