Ethiopian PM Warns Oppositions over Unconstitutional Move to Grab Power

ADDIS ABABA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has warned oppositions of any unconstitutional and illegal move to hold political power in Ethiopia.

The government is prepared to take measures on any unconstitutional act by opposition politicians who try to seize power by exploiting uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, he said in a recorded video message posted on Facebook on Thursday.

The PM insisted that the government has a duty to protect the country and its people as well as defend the constitution.

Abiy’s statement came a couple of days after Ethiopian lawmakers decided to seek constitutional interpretation over the fate of the delayed general election, and TPLF’s move to ignore that decision.

National parliamentary elections planned for August were suspended indefinitely by the electoral commission because of the coronavirus outbreak.

On Tuesday, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) announced its resolve to go ahead with the polls regardless of the decision of the parliament.

Some opposition parties propose political solutions including formation caretaker government when the term of government ends saying Election could not happen before lawmakers’ mandates expire in October.

The government sees TPLF’s move and oppositions’ push as unconstitutional saying power should only be drawn from the constitution.

Any act that is unconstitutional will have consequences, the Prime Minister warned, saying “those pushing for unconstitutional ways to grab power… will be punished by law”.

“Young people should not die, mothers should not cry and houses should not be demolished just so politicians can take power,” he added.

The opposition figure, Jawar Mohammed, accused Abiy of intimidation and said it was the governing party that was grabbing power unconstitutionally.