House of Federation Speaker Resigns

ADDIS ABEBA – Keria Ibrahim has resigned from her position as speaker of the House of Federation, the upper house Ethiopian parliament, on Monday.

Keria gave an “unconstitutional” effort to interpret the constitution to resolve the current election impasse as a reason for resignation.

The election board announced in late March that it would be impossible to organize the polls on time because of the coronavirus pandemic.

That means elections will not happen before lawmakers’ mandates expire in October – a dilemma for which the constitution does not offer a clear solution.

The lower house of parliament chose to interpret the constitution to devise a solution for the impasse and directed its resolution to the house of the federation which is mandated to do so based on the constitutional inquiry council’s recommendation.

“I don’t want to be part of the current administration which is violating the constitution,” said Keria, who is also executive member of Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) that opposes the delay of the 2020 election.

“It goes against the oath I took when I assumed this position… and therefore chose to resign,” she said in a speech via Tigari Television.

However, her deputy, Mohammed Rashid, disputed that.

She did not give any indication of opposing the move when meting her last week to choose agendas for the House of Federation’s assembly scheduled for Thursday, he told the national television.

“It came as a surprise to me and my colleagues when we heard it from media like any other person,” said Mohammed, adding that she didn’t follow neither the protocol to resign from her post nor tendered a resignation letter to the house.

She decided to call on, under her signature, the meeting that will discuss the recommendation of the constitutional inquiry council on the fate of election, among other things, he told the state television.

Keria was elected as speaker of the House of Federation in May 2018 and is a member of Executive member of TPLF that decided to hold Election in Tigray region last month – going against the decision of the Parliament to postpone the national elections due to COVID-19 pandemic.

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