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Monday, May 02, 2005

Ethiopia to Re-Register 27,000 Voters Due to Irregularities

As many as 27,000 Ethiopian voters have to be re-registered in areas where minors were registered to vote and others were issued more than one voter's card, the National Election Board chairman said Monday.

Investigators found the irregularities when they were verifying the voters' rolls following complaints to the National Elections Board ahead of parliamentary elections to be held on May 15, the board's chairman Kemal Bedri told journalists.

"We sent investigators after complaints of irregularities. We found that in one area it was very bad with underage voters. We felt re-registration should take place," Kemal said.

He said election officials will re-register voters in 15 polling stations in the northeastern region of Afar and in three polling stations in the southern region of Sidama.

Each polling station has around 1,500 voters.

"We decided that this could not have been done other than deliberately so we decided the police should investigate the matter and we expect action to be taken," Kemal said.

In some areas voters weren't even registered to take part in the elections, he added.

There are about 30,000 polling stations across Ethiopia and about 25.6 million of Ethiopia 's 71 million people have registered to vote.

This is the second time this year election officials have found irregularities in the voters' roll.

Sudan Tribune

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