Referendum for Sidama Statehood to be Held on November 13, 2019

By Staff Reporter

Sidama-ReferendumAugust 30, 2019 ( -- The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia has announced date for referendum on statehood request by Sidama Zone in South Nations Nationalities and People’s state of Ethiopia. The referendum will be held on November 13, 2019.

In a statement it issued on Thursday, the election board noted that it received a letter from the council of the South Ethiopian People Democratic Movement (SEPDM), requesting preparations be made for a referendum by the electoral board and concerned bodies.

The statement said the council of the regional state agreed on a proposal to share resources of Hawassa city, which is currently serving as the state’s capital and zonal city of Sidama zone in the event the referendum favors statehood for Sidama zone.

The council has also submitted detailed plan on how the federal and regional police can jointly ensure peace and security during the referendum.

The electoral board also requested the council to present administrative and legal document on the legal rights and protections of other people and ethnic groups living in Hawassa city after the referendum.
Accordingly, the council of the regional government is expected to present legal and administrative document on sharing of resources of Hawassa city and the legal rights of all ethnic groups in the zone on or before October 1, 2019.

The electoral board said it has sent an action plan and budget plan for the referendum to the council of the state government.
Based on the action plans, the electoral board will begin organizing meetings of stakeholders and hold discussions on the implementation of the referendum starting September 4, 2019.

It is also disclosed that the election board will recruit 8460 election executives and arrange 1692 ballot boxes and print out voting papers in September 2019.

The board has also announced the allocation of 75,615,015 Ethiopian birr to conduct the referendum. The board said it will transfer the stated amount to the state’s council until September 22, 2019.

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