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Ethiopian PM says “Upper house decision is for the people, not for government”

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spoke about priorities during extended government mandate period

Ethiopian PM addressing Ethiopians in a video message. Photo: Screenshot from video (OPM)

June 12, 2020

Days after ethnic Oromo nationalist parties and some national parties expressed opposition to the recent decision from the Ethiopian House of Federation on the next general election; Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy has conveyed a video message for the Ethiopian people.

In the eleven and a half minute’s messages, he expressed his conception of the process that led to the decision, the challenges he thinks Ethiopia is facing, and priorities for the government during an extended period.

“The process that led to the decision of the House of Federation [which extended the terms of the federal and regional house of representatives and the prime minister’s on a temporary basis] is unprecedented,” he said, “it has demonstrated that the democracy of our country could further develop on its own.”

After the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia reported to House of People’s Representatives expressing its inability to conduct the sixth general election as scheduled in August due to the Coronavirus situation in the country, the parliament referred the case to the House of Federation (the Upper House) recommending to have the constitution interpreted to postpone the election legally. The Upper House, in turn, referred the matter to the Constitutional Inquiry Commission. The Ethiopian upper house’s decision to temporarily extend the terms of the regional and federal parliaments is informed by the recommendation from the commission. 

Abiy Ahmed in his message said that the process has addressed the current challenges while “helping the country to experience democracy.”

In what seems to be a message for the opposition parties which opposed the decision of the upper house, Prime Minister Abiy said that “the decision is a decision for the people, not for the government, or parties.”  He also said that he sees the moment a mission is given to the government to defend the country and the people. It is time for more responsibility.

“Ruling party will continue to have discussion and consultation with the opposition on major national issues in the interest of developing democracy further and building national consensus, ” is another key message he conveyed to the opposition. He emphasized the importance of reaching consensus with the opposition on major national issues that will define the future of the country although he left it blurry as to what those issues are. Opposition parties have been accusing his government of not having adequate consultation on the issue of postponing the election and extending the terms of government on a temporary basis.

Abiy addressed that accusation too. “It is not time to point fingers at one another.”  He added, “We will work together to ensure the next election is free, fair and credible.”  

He also seized the opportunity to speak at length about the socio-economic challenges that Coronavirus is posing, and he called upon Ethiopian opposition parties to do their part to tackle it.

There is anticipation, according to Abiy Ahmed, that the Coronavirus situation could get worse as the rainy and cold season for the country is arriving.

In terms of government priority during the extended period, he sees the possibility of challenges to the sovereignty of Ethiopia – among other issues.

Watch his video message below ( in Amahric)

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  1. There are some people who say this young and visionary PM is stoking fear and tension. How is that? Who is stoking tension and fear? Who? Who is that group or party able and ready to share the mantle of leading that nation of glorious people? Those ‘groupies’ infested with bigots who are having fits to tear up the country to their specifications? Those hodgepodge outfits with no self respect that used to scavenge at the dump sites in Asmara and Cairo? You can’t even begin to imagine the extent of utter contempt I have for these scavengers!!! Or is it those portentous individuals who have been telling us they are 10 feet tall and can overthrow the government in a jiffy if they want to? A bunch of liars and connivers!!!

  2. Let us see…..ask people on the streets and in rural areas about what they see as their (and their communities’) problems, I am fairly certain their universal answers will be: poverty, hunger, lack of employment, lack or poor schools, lack of or impassable roads, lack of health facilities, and the like. That is, all problems resolve around survival and hopelessness. I bet only a very tiny proportion will mention democracy, freedom of expression, election, and the like. But the so called ‘opposition parties’ always talk about democracy and election, not the priority needs of the population. Why? First, they have absolutely no clue about how to resolve the economic and other related problems. And second, the memberships of those parties are concerned only about getting employment for themselves, not about governing the nation.

    The tradition of clueless this or that ‘peoples revolutionaries’ old groups continues under the new cover of ‘opposition political parties’.

    The young leadership led by Abiye is composed of out-of-the-box and visionary leaders who are not rooted (or born out of) the fake old groupies of ‘communist revolutionaries’ or ‘teramajes’. Go Prosperity Party!

    • It’s ironic how all the basic questions of health, schools, etc… were better handled during the TPLF mafia days. Nowadays, more freedom means every opposition party wants a piece of the pie, causing violence, and the progress made is coming to a stop.

      • You are contradicting yourself, Abeshaw. The Mafia (origin in Italy) is generally associated with violence and thuggery, not good deeds. You characterized TPLF as ‘mafia’ and yet on the same line stated it had done superior job; wrong logic.

        TPLF had its good and bad sides, as in everything. But the bad far outweigh the good. Among the good is preventing chaos immediately following the downfall of purported communist derge. What followed after, however, was trail of murders and friction among ethnic groups to pave the way for its unconstrained theft of Ethiopia. The USA president, one named Trump, has been (and continues) to create division and conflict among groups to win the presidency. His chief strategist named Steven Bannon laid that strategy for him: keep them (opponents) divided while holding tight to his base of supporters. Exactly at TPLF did to Ethiopia!

        • Yes it was a bad deed kind of mafia. That is why it is ironic the country was in a stable development state than the violence of today.

  3. According Ethiopia’s government the Capital City of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa is currently estimated to have a total population of four million seven hundred and ninety four thousand ( 4,794,000) people living in it , even though critics disagree with this number since Ethiopia’s population census count had been postponed three times so far making it so difficult for many to reach an estimate , even though this number happen to be the only estimate put to work for now until the census population count is taken.

    According to the government of Ethiopia out of these 4,794,000 people in Addis Ababa, close to 10,000 of them are estimated to be homeless children under the age of 18 who lived on the streets of Addis Ababa mainly surviving by begging until the government recently started taking the initiative to place these Addis Ababa’s homeless children in shelters due to the state of emergency declared in Ethiopia , in an effort to slow down the spread of Covid-19 .

    Currently it is being reported that almost half of the homeless children of Addis Ababa are provided with temporary shelter services , meaning about five thousand of the ten thousand homeless children in Addis Ababa are placed in temporary shelters.

    Also it is estimated the remaining five thousand homeless children of Addis Ababa will soon be placed in shelters too. These shelters are not orphanages and these homeless children are not up for adoption as many couples were hoping because after the children spend six months in these shelters, then the children are expected to be reunited with their relatives or with the communities of their choice .

    The opposition should help slow down the spread of Covid-19 , protests and stone throwing resulted Ethiopia in loosing more than five thousand people during the recent past while the former PM Hailemariam Desalegn’s regime was in power . We Ethiopians should learn from our past mistakes , now is the worst time to enngage in such types of protests , now is the time for opposition parties to approach the Ethiopian government and ask how they can help fight Covid-19. The opposition can help with sheltering the remaining five thousand homeless children of Addis Ababa or they can start similar sheltering initatives in other parts of the country because currently it is estimated there are more than sixteen million (16,000,000) children engaged in child labor within Ethiopia who desperately need any help they can get from all good Samaritans willing to stretch their helping hands.

    Ethiopia moves children from streets to shelters to slow coronavirus

    • That is good news. Thank you for writing about it, Dear Mariamawit. It is a grandeur act. It also shows the nightmarish problem that is facing and will continue to endure: The runaway population explosion. The same is the case with The Sudan and Egypt. These three nations have now a combined population of more than a quarter of a billion people(>250 million) and a mere 30 years from now it will be knocking on a door of 500 million feed-me/house me people. The only effective way to put a kibosh on this nightmare is the liberation of our industrious women. And you will need a runaway industrialization to accomplish that. When women become income earner they will have a say in the affairs at home including family planning. Believe me I had seen it happening right in front my eyes in the Taiwan of the late 1970’s and 80’s. Industrialization with booming factory sites drove women there into the assembly lines. Then they were having less and less time for incubating babies. They began moving up the echelons from lead women to factory managers all the way to factory owners. Some women who I had meetings with at factories as lead women had become owners of their own factories in a span of a decade. I had much fewer issues with factories run by women than those run by men. Our women deserve the same opportunities and have the gift to do so.

  4. Mariamawit Sileshi

    International Conflict Group (ICG) released a statement saying there is a rising tension between the Amara region and Tigray region caused by border dispute .

    Many other groups say if the conflict between Amara and Tigray regions was caused only because of border dispute we would have seen similar level of conflict between Afar and Tigray regions too , because Afar and Tigray regions got border disputes also. The conflict between TPLF and ethnic Amaras go much deeper than border dispute . It goes to the times of when Tigres died of hunger while Amaras were not dieing of hunger during Emperor Haileselassie’s time and during Mengistu Hailemariam’s time.

    The hate TPLF had for ethnic Amaras was clearly in the TPLF’s program since TPLF’s inception in 1974 and what Amara’s endured since 1991 non stop until now is nothing less than a Crime Against Humanity / ethnic cleansing. PM Hailemariam Desalegn need to face justice for his role in these genocides but now he is the official in Ethiopian government handling the Nile negotiation and also he is an analyst of the causes of conflicts for the International Conflict Group (ICG).
    International Crisis Group (ICG) gets almost all of it’s informations about Ethiopia from their
    Ethiopian employee, the former PM Hailemariam Desalegn and his affiliated groups.

    The former Prime Minister Hailariam Desalegn’s hate for Amaras and his love for the TPLF was clearly felt during the times he served as a Prime Minister . PM Hailemariam Desalegn committed genocide against Amaras with the help of his security apparatus head Getachew Assefa who mass murdered , tortured , imprisoned , robbed Amaras in all parts of the country including in Amara region where TPLF operated many businesses which were bleeding the Amara region dry. During PM Hailemariam Desalegn administration’s time many ethnic Amara successful business people who operated their businesses in the Amara region or elsewhere in
    the country were being forced to give huge amounts of money as donations to Tigray region’s developments inorder to continue operating their businesses in the Amara region or in other parts of Ethiopia.
    Many of those Amara business people in many parts of Ethiopia including in the Amara region who didn’t give donations to these TPLF approved developments or who didn’t go in partnerships with TPLF officials were systemically being put out of business with their businesses being confiscated rendering them bankrupt by the order of PM Hailemariam Desalegn , which started the bitter conflict between the Amara region and the Tigray region unlike the existing border conflict between Afar region and Tigray region, taking the existing border conflict issue between the Amara region and the Tigray region to a whole different level of conflict.

    Conflict between Amara region and the Tigray region went to a level of deportations of people which got to this existing bitter conflict to a whole another level by all Tigrayans who resided in Amara region getting deported out of the Amara region to the Tigray region and Amaras along
    with other ethnicities deported out of the Tigray region during the years of 2016 and 2017 while PM Hailemariam Desalegn was in administration.

    Currently there are more Eritreans in Tigray region than non ethnic Tigrayan Ethiopians in Tigray region if you don’t count the disputed border areas between Tigray and Afar or Tigray and Amara.

    . If you add the Oromo , Somali , Amara , Southern nationalities , Afar and other non Tigrayan
    Ethiopians in Mekele they wouldn’t amount to 1 percent of the population in Mekelle. Even the few Gurages in Mekele got kicked out in the past two years .

    All this deportations of Tigrayans out of Amara region and deportations of NonTigrayan Ethiopians out of Tigray was started because ethnic
    Amara owned businesses were being confiscated by the TPLF and these ethnic Amara owned
    businesses were being given to Tigrayans by the order of the then PM Hailemariam Desalegn, these
    attacks he committed against innocent civilians
    which took the border conflict issue between the two regions to a whole another level.
    The border issue between Amara region and Tigray region seemed minor changescompared to the Amara business confiscating actions that went on allover Ethiopia which right away followed with deporting Tigrayans out of the Amara region, all these instigated by the ethnic Konso Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who is now rewriting history through the International Crisis Group (ICG) that is why I advise ICG to really evaluate the source of their informations because expecting to get unbiased Informations from the former PM of Ethiopia , Hailemariam Desalegn followers is same as letting the suspect in a trial for crimes give the final verdict .


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