Tigray authorities reject Ethiopian Upper House warning over election

Tigray regional state authorities said that the Ethiopian House of Federation does not have a constitutional right to warn Tigray over election

Tigray region _
Graphics credit : Tigray Region Communications Office

August 3, 2020 

Last week, the Ethiopian House of Federation (Upper House) sent a letter to the Tigray regional state demanding the authorities in the region to immediately stop the move to conduct an election in the region.  The House said so on grounds that regional election violates the constitution of the country. 

Also, it was mentioned in the letter that the sixth general election is postponed based on a recommendation from a Constitutional Inquiry Commission after the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced that it cannot undertake an election due to the Coronavirus situation. 

Tigray regional state sent a response letter to the House of Federation.  In a letter dated August 3, 2020, the letter said that the process and the outcome of the exercise to extend the election violates the constitution and that the regional state opposed it at the time. 

The warning letter to the Tigray Region National Council “has no constitutional base,” said the letter from the Tigray region. 

The response also said that “Tigray regional state and the people of Tigray vehemently oppose it” for it contradicts what it called the sovereign rights of “Peoples, Nations, and Nationalities.”  

It cited article 8 (sections 2 and 3) of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia constitution as an expression of the “sovereignty of People’s Nations & nationalities.”

The letter exploited the controversial article 39 of the constitution. It said “peoples, nations, and nationalities,” have the right for self-government and self-determination up to and including session, and that the right is not restricted even under circumstances of the state of emergency situation, according to the letter from Tigray Region. 

Authorities in Tigray said, as expressed in the letter, that the House of Federation does not have a constitutional right to warn the Tigray Regional State not to conduct an election. 

Ethiopia _ Tigray

Meanwhile, in what seems to be a show of power and militarism, the regional state undertook a massive military parade in the streets of Mekelle, the seat of the regional state, and marched to the stadium in the city. The region’s special forces and militia units in the region took part in it displaying light and heavy weapons. Tens of thousands of people were crowded in the stadium despite the coronavirus numbers in the region are spiraling up. 

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