Ethiopia Lawmakers to Vote on Emergency Decree Tomorrow

ADDIS ABABA – Members of Parliament are expected to approve the state of emergency law bill proposed by the council of ministers as part of governmnent’s move to stem the spread of coronavirus in Ethiopia.

The house said MPs will hold an extraordinary session on April 10 – the first in almost 30 days following a ban on gathering by the government to contain the virus. 

With the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases daily, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration claimed more strict regulations are needed to make the government’s measures effective.

On Wednesday, the PM has declared a five-month-long state of emergency.

“Considering the gravity of the #COVID19, the Government of Ethiopia has enacted a State of Emergency,” the PM office said on Wednesday.

The decree, however, needs to get a two-thirds majority vote from members of the house of peoples’ representatives during Thursday’s session.

According to the country’s constitution, under a state of emergency, the Council of Ministers has “all necessary power to protect the country’s peace and sovereignty” and can suspend some rights.

MPs are also expected to assume and endorse the state of emergency inquiry board and its members.

Meanwhile, the House will approve 27.89 billion birr or 877 million US dollars supplementary budget for current 2019/20 Ethiopian fiscal as well as three separate financial loan agreements signed with World Bank.

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By Sisay Sahlu

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