ENA, November 20/2019 Sidama voters have begun casting ballots this morning to make their dream of having autonomous regional state.
Residents of Sidama zone are in high turnout to vote in a referendum to decide for autonomous state.
Long queues are marked in Hawassa city and in its surrounding areas following the start of voting for Sidama referendum.
The voting process continues peacefully in all polling stations since 6:00 a.m., especially in the city of Hawassa as well as in Hawela Tula, Laku and Yirgalem.
Voters who told to ENA said that they were in line in as early as 4:00 a.m. before the actual casting time fighting with cold weather.
Despite long queues, the voting process is underway in a peaceful manner with large gathering of youth and women among other age groups.
The Sidama zone, with nearly four million residents, is part of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), is a home to over 50 ethnic groups.
For decades the Sidamas have been longing for regional self-rule, a right enshrined in the constitution of Ethiopia.
The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) make clear that tentative results will be noticed to the public in the next day of voting in all constituencies.
The Sidama Referendum will be conducted in 1,692 polling stations established in 598 Kebeles.