Revising Constitution, Reforming Federal System Crucial to Ensure Stability, Say Scholars

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Addis Ababa May 17/2019 Revising the Ethiopian Constitution and the federal system is critical to ensure the stability of the country, AAU Political Science and International Relations scholar said

Presenting a paper entitled “Emerging political reforms in Ethiopia: the case for reformed multinational federalism” at the Debating Ethiopian Federalism forum today, Addis Ababa University Political Science and International Relations Lecturer Asnake Kefale said the level of participation during the adoption of the constitution was very low.

The introduction of a federal system and the creation of the constitution were mainly done by the winners of the revolution, he noted.

There were, therefore, voices which were excluded when the constitution was adopted. “Now, when we are thinking about reforming the federal system, it is also very important that all the voices are represented,” Asnake elaborated.

“We are going to have another round of crisis unless we have an all-inclusive bargaining process to reform the federal system,” the lecturer warned.

Nonetheless, constitutional reform is very important for the overall stability of the country, he said, adding that it is very important to have dialogue and discussion to hammer out what needs to be reviewed from the federal constitution and the federal system.

According to the scholar, the constitution mainly promotes ethnic federalism and that has created many challenges.

AAU Lecturer Sisay Mengistie pointed out on his part that besides reforming the constitution the current regional territories should be re-demarcated based on the consent of the people.

The redrawing of regional states is very important,Sisay noted, further stating that the ongoing regional boundaries are created by the then transitional government without conducting any necessary research, discussion with the concerned professionals. All political parties did not participate.

As a result, people living in the areas were not aware of the effect of the drawing of those boundaries.

According to him, the federal system must respect and recognize the very existence, representation, and self-governing rights of the minorities. Because of such reasons, the federal and regional constitutions must be revised to accommodate rights.