Ethiopia to deploy additional 50,000 election facilitators

To effectively undertake the upcoming general election of Ethiopia protecting citizens from the global pandemic, COVID-19, National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) says it is planning to deploy additional 50,000 election facilitators.

Birtukan Mideksa, head of NEBE told the state broadcaster – ETV that deployment and training of additional 50,000 election facilitators as well as purchasing additional equipment requires the Board to invest additional 1.1 billion Birr. This will increase the total number of election facilitators to 254,000.

The Board has submitted its request for additional budget to the federal government, according to Birtukan Mideksa. The number of polling stations for the upcoming general election of Ethiopia will also be increased to 50,900 from 45,800 in 2015.

In total the federal Government of Ethiopia has allocated some 3.6 billion Birr to effectively conduct the general election of the country, which is expected to take place by next May or June. Out of the total about 2.5 billion Birr is disbursed to NEBE, the sole entity in charge of facilitating elections in Ethiopia. Some 50 million voters are expected to cast their votes during the election.

Initially the 6th round of Ethiopia’s general election, which takes place every five years, was scheduled for May 2020. Meanwhile, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has forced the government to suspend it.

It is recalled that disobeying the decision of the Ethiopian Parliament to extend the election, the administration in charge of Tigray Region has undertaken election a few months ago, which the federal government refused to acknowledge.

The upcoming general election will also include the Tigray Region as the election conducted by the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), which claimed 100 percent victory is not recognized by the Government of Ethiopia.