TPLF ordered members of parliament from the region to leave the House

TPLF wants to work with the Defense Force and the Judiciary while ending its relation with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed led government 

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TPLF spokesperson Getachew Reda. Photo credit : AA via BBC

October 5, 2020

Political appointees at the Federal level of government, members of the House of Peoples Representatives from Tigray region and members of the House of Federation from the Tigray region are ordered to quit their membership.

Spokesperson of TPLF Getachew Reda said that the terms of the House of Federation and House of People’s Representatives came to an end on September 25, 2013 Ethiopian Calendar (October 5, 2020).

He told BBC Amharic Service that representatives of both houses who came from Tigray region would not take part in the opening ceremony of the sixth-year session of the parliament on Monday.

“Representatives from Tigray are told to leave the house. Not only the parliament but also those who were working in the cabinet and other political positions had been made to leave their position,” BBC Amharic cited Getachew Reda as saying.

The parliament reopened on Monday in the afternoon around 2 p.m. local time in a hall within the office of the Prime Minister. It was the President Shale-Work Zewde who made the opening speech. No remark was given about the TPLF decision. The terms of the houses were extended as the sixth general election was cancelled due to the coronavirus situation in the country. Last month, the Ministry of Health advised the parliament that the Ministry had developed capacity to identify and prevent the pandemic and that the election could take place under specific circumstances which the parliament accepted, and preparations are underway to hold the election during this Ethiopian year.

The opening session was a joint meeting between the House of Representatives and the House of Federation. TPLF announced that it will not recognize the two houses, the prime minister, and his cabinet members as of October 5, 2020.  The terms of the two houses were extended in June 2020 after a constitutional inquiry commission recommended so until a relevant authority confirmed that the Coronavirus disease is no longer a public health threat.

Getachew Reda said on Monday : “As of now, the prime minister and his cabinets as well as members of the House of People’s Representatives and members of House of Federation do not have any legal power; and it is unthinkable that there would be any legal relation with those entities.”  He also said that Tigray’s regional relation with these entities is ended.

However, TPLF authorities said that they would continue to work with the Defense Force, institutions of diplomatic mission and institutions of justice.

The TPLF decision not to recognize the Federal government is exacerbating the tension between these entities. This week, Speaker of the House of Federation, Adem Farah, told local journalists that the move by TPLF is endangering the constitution and that there is a constitutional basis for the Federal government to act. Suspending Tigray region’s house of representatives and executives are among the constitutional measures that the Federal government could take.

Furthermore, the Speaker added that there is a constitutional basis to form an interim administration in the region and to deploy Federal security forces in the region.

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