Ethiopian PM: We will not tolerate forces who seek to usurp power through violence

May 7, 2020

Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed has conveyed a thirty minutes long video message to the nation days after the Ethiopian parliament passed a decision to seek constitutional interpretation as a panacea to resolve what some political pundits call a constitutional crisis.

It is triggered by the inability of the National Election Board of Ethiopia to conduct the election as planned, before the end of the parliamentary terms as required by the constitution, due to the coronavirus situation.

The parliament is seeking interpretation to find a legal means to extend election time.

Outside of the government structure, the issue has triggered a discussion in the opposition quarter. 

A considerable number of opposition parties seem to agree with the government and with the Electoral Board, that it is impossible to carry out the election in August 2020. However, there are also opposition political parties that are fiercely warning the government that its right to govern the country expires at the end of September. And they propose a transitional government or else government has no right, what so ever, to enforce the rule of law. Radical ethnic Oromo political activists like Jawar Mohammed see a problem if the government tries to rule after September 30. Lidetu Ayalew, a politician who considers himself to be in the center, has similar views on the issue of transitional government.

On the other hand, there is Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF); still part of the Ethiopian government although behaving much like a radical opposition group, vows to conduct an election on its own terms in Tigray region of Ethiopia – a move that violates the constitution.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed warned both groups.  He warned that the government will not tolerate forces that are seeking to usurp power through violent means.

Watch his speech below (in Amharic)

Video : embedded from Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation YouTube channel
Cover photo : screen shot from the video

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