Ezema Calls for Constitutional Amendment

ADDIS ABEBA – FDRE’s constitution is a to blame in part for several political unrests that are currently unraveling in the country, says a major opposition party, calling for its amendment.

On Tuesday, officials of the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice Party, also known as Ezema, have given a press briefing regarding the current situation of the country, and what they see are way forward to resolve them.

Wasihun Tesfaye, director of Ezema Party affairs, singles out the EFDRE 1995 constitution as a stumbling block to resolve crisis easily in the country.

The constitution gives much emphasis “on differences rather than unity”, he said, indicating the part of the constitution that focuses on ethnic rights. Wasihun said it is “very difficult” to resolve ethnic-based conflicts and tribal alliances without constitutional reform.

He, however, refrained to blame it all on the constitution saying “not all political unrests are caused by it” and in fact incorporates “excellent provisions on human rights”.

Ezema’s call came a day after federal security forces took over security in the southern region after unrests last week left dozens dead. Police are now arresting people what they think are behind the deadly unrest. Ezema says members of the party are among those who are currently imprisoned.

While the party is not against the government’s effort to stabilize the situation, Wasihun said it is not right to arrest anyone without evidence. The party fears this trend may reverse the course of freedom and democracy in Ethiopia.

Party officials also said the unrest observed in the country may negatively affect the upcoming election.

“We strive to create a stable and peaceful country,” Abebe Akalu, secretary-general of the party. He said, if situations are not permitting for the country to hold the election, the party may not be against measures including postponing the 2020 national election.

Abebe said the right environment should be created before holding a national election, which by itself could bring its own challenges.

Ezema is one of the newly formed parties formed after seven opposition parties dissolved themselves in May to create one entity. It is also one of the few political parties to not be constituted on ethnic lines with representation in almost all of Ethiopia’s 547 constituencies.

By Mhret G/kristos