It is known that the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has been conducting activities of the 6th General Election, completed voter registration, and made voter registration records open to the public. Although the voter registration process has almost been completed successfully, the Board had been notifying concerned parties in various ways about the interference of low-level government officials (especially woreda, kebele, etc.). Recently, the Board visited the polling stations to monitor the registration process, followed up with grievances received through its call center, and deployed a monitoring team to review the registration process.

Accordingly, the Board noted that low-level government officials intervened at polling stations without obtaining party agent identification, requesting information from polling station workers, and in some cases tried to see the voter register and obtain information. This is a serious violation of both the election law and the penal code, especially as we approach the polling day.

Therefore we strongly notify,

1. No lower-level government official (kebele, woreda) or any other unauthorized body shall be present at or near the polling station within 200 meters.

2. The Board issued badges to party agents. Anyone who has not received a party agent badge from the Board shall not ask any constituency or polling station officer about voter registration information and shall not be present at the polling station or within 200 meters of the polling station.

3. No government official shall be allowed to move election-related materials, except with the approval of the Board or under special security circumstances, and shall not give orders and instructions. In this case, it is an election crime and the individuals who committed this act will be held accountable by the Electoral Law and the Penal Code. On this occasion, we urge Election Officers to disallow any lower-level government officials or other unauthorized persons to be present within 200 meters of polling stations and to never accept orders or directions unless it is from the Board’s management and staff.

National Election Board of Ethiopia

May 24, 2021