Ethiopian opposition parties eye on constitutional amendment

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Ethiopian competing political parties underlined the need for amending some of the articles of the constitution in a bid to bring national consensus and to widen the political landscape.

The constitution’s article 39 which states the right of self-determination up to secession has been the source of misunderstandings among the politicians and the general public, therefore, it has to be amended sooner than later , said Dr. Merara Gudina, Oromo Federalist Congress Party Chairperson .

He also told The Ethiopian Herald that article 102 that declares about the establishment of the national electoral board needs to be revised with a view to having an independent and impartial board.

Beside the amendment, the articles that have popular support are not being exercised on the ground like article 52 which talks about states’ power to nominate their own leader and to enact laws as well, he said.

“ Nowadays, State governments are not exactly appointing their own officials. They are under the influence of the ruling party as they often elect a person who serve the sole interest of the incumbent.”

Seconding Dr. Merara’s view, All Ethiopians’ National Movement Party President Lij Mesfin Shiferaw reiterated that in light of bringing national consensus and widening the political landscape, the government has to begin the process of amending the constitution without further ado.

To this end, he said revising the constitution and other policies is a must as some of political disagreements have something do with such laws. Series of discussion forums that help bringing about unity and sustaining the national development have to be conducted in a timely and continuous manner , according to Lij Mesfin.

Such discussion forum is helpful in terms of exchanging various views and ideas among the people, intellectuals, political parties, civic societies, said Blue Party Chairperson Yeshiwas Assefa.

“We need to have extensive discussion on national issues including history, the national anthem and the flag as they gradually help us to put our differences aside democratically.”

Recently national discussion forums are being organized here and there, but all stakeholders should take into the considerations that such kind of forums have to be carried out to contain the occurrence of any unrest in the country, he said.

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