Prominent political scientist in Ethiopia argues that the Federal system is the main reason for the political problem in the country
May 18 ,2019
The office of the Prime Minister has organized the fifth dialogue forum for political parties at Economic Commission For Africa (ECA) in the capital Addis Ababa on Saturday. It focused on current affairs and political issues in the country.
Prime minister Abiy Ahmed, among other high ranking government officials, attended the forum. As well, politicians and academicians- namely Semir Aman, Elisabeth Haileghiorgis, Andualem Arage, and Ezkias Assefa – were featured in the forum as speakers.
Konjit Berhanu, who is introduced as a member of Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Party (EPRP), served as an MC for the forum.
“Contradictions of the Federal System, causes and consequences,” “The importance of peace and the role of stakeholders,” “Defining the ‘change’, its importance, challenges, and solutions,” and “social participation, importance, and its manifestations” were the topics presented during the forum.
Semir Amin (Ph.D.), a political science professor at Addis Ababa University, argued implementation of the ethnic-based Federalism that Ethiopia has adopted is one of the major causes for the political problem the country is facing. Apart from pointing out that the Federal system in Ethiopia is full of contradictions, Semir is of the view that radicalization of ethnic politics has contributed to the challenges that the country is facing.
Andualem Arageie, a politician who was thrown to jail on alleged charges of ‘terrorism’ before he was released after prime minister Abiy Ahmed came to power, and he is also currently deputy chair of the new party -Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice Party- hailed what he called relative freedom of individuals due to the “change” while pointing out that the government has to make a distinction between the rule of law and patience. He said that the Federal government has to demonstrate that it can enforce the rule of law.
“Boundary dispute”, among other things, has become a recurrent hallmark of the existing federal structure and Ethiopia has currently become the leading country in the world in the number of internally displaced people which politicized Ethiopians seem to relate to the radicalization of ethnic politics and the Federal arrangement.
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