Signed Covenant Crucial in Building Democratic Political Order: AG 7

Addis Ababa  March 15/2019 The covenant that was signed by political parties is the only way to build a ‘truly meaningful” democratic political order, Arbegnoch Genbot 7 (AG7) said.

Some 107 political parties signed a binding covenant document in Addis Ababa yesterday, which shows a potency drive in the rear of democratization in Ethiopia.

The agreement, which consisted of twenty articles and three chapters, signed in the presence of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, heads of Civil Society Organizations and renowned public figures.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, AG7 Chairman Berhanu Nega said “this is the first time that all political parties have agreed how they are going to conduct political activities in this country.”

He added that signing the agreement was a moment where all political parties agree that a meaningful democratic political order is the future of Ethiopia.

 “This is the day that political parties agreed not only in the general principle of popular sovereignty but also in the procedures that makes popular sovereignty real, in terms of the way they conduct relationship with each other, the way the government conducts its business,” Berhanu said.  

“I really do not think Ethiopians can accept dictatorship from now on”, he said, and added “I think they are done, I think they have enough.”

Speaking of similar agreements signed in the past, the chairman said “there have been a number of so called agreements before where parties agree to a certain code of conduct. We all know that there really were no parties.”

 “Political organizations are accepting this as a commitment of the organization to the basic moral and behavioral of a truly democratic political order. That is why I think it is extremely significant,” he noted.

Furthermore, Berhanu pointed out “we have agreed to do this not because it is a law, we have agreed to this as a promise to the Ethiopian people, as a promise to ourselves. This is the moment that we showed our commitment to real, meaningful democratic order.”

 “This is the moment for the first time where political parties voluntarily agreed to the procedures of political democracy, not because it is a law, not because they are going to be forced but because this is the only way.”

The covenant stipulates that political parties adhere to the constitution and measures upon violators taken by a joint council that oversees the process.

The milestone agreement, which was reached after extensive discussion for more than 16 hours, will govern the political parties’ relationships. The general assembly and council are tasked to settle disputes among political parties.