Dessie residents told PM : “Constitution opened the door for the disintegration of Ethiopia, need to be amended”

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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed held discussion with residents of Dessie on Saturday. The meeting happened in the historic big banquet hall of Nigus Michael, father of Lij Iyasu, Ayteyef with its spectacular view of the town. He was joined by Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonen, and the president of Amhra regional State of Ethiopia, Ambachew Mekonen.

Whether all residents of the city were invited to the meeting is unclear.

Based on a report from Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA), residents who got the opportunity to attend the meeting with the prime minister have raised political and economic questions.

Ethnic and religious-based violence in different parts of Ethiopia is raised as a major concern and residents emphasized the need to enforce the rule of law and protect the security and safety of citizens.
For Abiy, Stoping ethnic and religious-based violence need the involvement of religious leaders and the people.

The residents also expressed their belief that the existing constitution of Ethiopia has opened the door for the potential disintegration of the country and demanded that the government need to amend the constitution.

Abiy Ahmed’s response to the demand was “if there is a need to amend the constitution, an effort will be made to hold a discussion and amend it,” as cited by AMMA.

In terms of economic demands, residents raised an increasing number of unemployed youth in the city and infrastructural problems, including road, that Dessie is facing.

Abiy’s response was seemingly generic: To decrease the number of unemployed people, development projects need to be completed. In a situation where freedom of movement and freedom to work in any part of Ethiopia, and in a situation where there are no considerable projects capable of significantly reducing the number of unemployed youth in the region, it remains a question if Abiy Ahmed’s response makes any sense.

Power shortage and the issue of Wollo tertiary hospital were also raised. Abiy’s response was “We have signed $US1.8 billion contract with a Chinese company to improve the problem of electric power distribution, and an effort will be made to fix the problem.”

As to the question of a referral hospital construction, he pushed it aside to regional authorities pointing out the Federal government has allocated budget for development.

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