10 March 2018

Ethiopia: Premier Replacement - Urgent, Constitutional, Democratic

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Ethiopian flag.

The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF, the country's ruling coalition, is to choose a new chairperson by next week who would by default assume the premiership

. Politicians and the former President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia-FDRE called for urgent, constitutional and democratic leadership take over.

Shiferawu Shigute, Head of EPRDF's secretariat said in a recent press conference that the front has long followed such democratic processes and no threat to position disagreements. The front's inherent democratic character with regard to the internal decision making and the selection of the leadership is well known for its democracy, lawfulness, collaborative decision making and prioritizing the peoples of Ethiopia.

He added that the party is very stable to forward the ongoing development activities, enhance the democratic system development with the registered double-digit economic growth. It is also working to its maximum to reduce the youth unemployment through creating job opportunities with the development collaborators.

Former President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia-FDRE and retired politician Dr. Nagaso Gidada called on the front to implement its constitutional and democratic culture to replace its Chairperson who would be the nation's Premier by default.

Dr. Negasso said that replacing the Prime Minister should take no longer than a week. The replacement has to be done urgently, constitutionally and democratically, he emphasized.

He further called on the Front to live up to the provisions of its registered laws by any means. And the youth with the community must consider the assignment of the new leader for the peace, democracy and development of the nation.

The constitutional setup of governance in FDRE is the parliamentary system of governance that focuses on the party that the individual represents rather than the individual candidate.

As the front was elected democratically, it will also elect a leader to head the government. In this system of governance, the executive is subordinate to parliament and can be dismissed by parliament at will. Thus, the chairperson of the party will be presented to the House of the Peoples Representatives for ratification.

However, Tigistu Awelo, the Chairperson of Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ), says that due attention should be given to the ethics, vision, commitment and national view of the individual to be elected chairperson. The individual has to be one who can settle the current unrest throughout the country and implement inclusive politics in the system.

As the governing legislation of the front shows, EPRDF is a coalition of four political organizations and consistently follows democratic principles in electing its leaders. All the members of the four political organizations elect representatives to their congresses every 2-3 years. These representatives in turn elect the Council, the Chairperson, and the Deputy Chairperson of each organization.

Similarly, members of the executive council are elected to manage and implement the policies of the respective organizations. The executive council is accountable to the membership and can be democratically replaced any time. The council also elects the organization's representatives to the EPRDF Council.

The leadership structure of the EPRDF is organized in a similar manner and is represented equally among the four member political parties. Each political organization is represented by 45 persons making up the total membership of the EPRDF Council of 180 persons. The 36 members of the EPRDF Executive Council are also elected from 4 within the EPRDF Council; nine members representing each political party. The 180 member Executive Council elects the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the EPRDF.

As the records indicate, the membership of these councils have been repeatedly reshuffled over the years, based strictly on democratic principles. Therefore, this time's leadership replacement would also follow the constitutional and democratic culture of the front without any doubt.


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