The Government and Political System
Ethiopia adopted a new constitution that established the Federal
Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) in 1995.The federal
government is responsible for national defense, foreign relations
and general policy of common interest and benefits. The federal
state comprise nine autonomous states vested with power for
self-determination. The FDRE is structured along the lines of
bicameral parliament, with the council of Peoples’ Representatives
being the highest authority of the federal government while the
federal council represents the common interests of the nations,
nationalities and peoples of the states. Members of both councils
are elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term.
state is headed by a constitution president and the federal
government by an executive prime minister who is accountable to
the council of peoples’ Representative. Each autonomous state is
headed by a state president elected by the state council. The
judiciary is constitutionally independent.
Democratic Republic is composed of state which are delimited on
the basis of settlement patterns, language, identity and consent
of the peoples concerned.
is the supreme law of the land. Human rights and freedoms,
emanating from the nature of mankind, are inviolable and
inalienable. In addition, state and religion are separate and
there is no state religion. Besides, the state does not interfere
in religious matters and vice versa. All Ethiopian languages
enjoy equal state recognition and Amharic would be the working
language of the Federal government.
All persons are equal before the
law and are guaranteed equal and effective protection, without
discrimination on grounds of race, nation, nationality, or other
social origin, color, sex, language, religion, political or other
opinion property, birth or other status. Every one has the right
to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and the freedom,
either individually or in community with others, and in public or
private, to manifest his/her religion or belief in worship,
observance, practice and teaching. Every person has the
inviolable and inalienable right of life, privacy and the security
of person and liberty.
one has the right to hold opinions and has freedom of expression
without interference. Freedom of the press and other media and
freedom of artistic creativity is also guaranteed without the
prohibition of any form of censorship and giving access to
information of public interest. Every person has the right to
assemble and to demonstrate together with others peaceably and
unarmed and to petition. Besides, the constitution gives for any
person the right to freedom of association for any cause or
FDRE has a parliamentarian form of government and comprises nine
states, Addis Ababa being the capital city of the Federal State.
FDRE comprises the Federal Government and the member states. The
Federal Government and the states have legislative, executive and
judicial powers. The House of People's Representatives is the
highest authority of the Federal Government. The House is
responsible to the people.
State Council is the highest organ of state authority. It is
responsible to the people of the state. State government has been
established at state and other administrative levels deemed
necessary. Adequate power has been granted to the lowest units of
government to enable the people to participate directly in the
administration of such units. The state council has legislative
power on matters falling under state jurisdiction. Consistent
with the provisions of this constitution, the council has the
power to draft adopt and amend the state constitution. The state
administration constitutes the highest organ executive power and
State judicial power is vested in its courts. The state shall
respect the powers of the Federal Government. The Federal
Government shall likewise respect the powers of the states. The
Federal Government may, when necessary, delegate to the states of
powers and functions granted to it by the constitution.
are two houses: The House of people's Representatives and the
house of the Federation.
Members of the
House of People's Representatives are elected by the people for a
term of five years on the basis of universal suffrage and by
direct, free and fair elections.
House of People's Representatives has legislative power in all
matters assigned by the constitution to federal jurisdiction. The
political party or coalition of political parties that have the
greatest number of seats in the house of people's Representatives
form and lead the Executive.
House of the Federation is composed of representatives of nations,
nationalities and peoples. Each nation, nationality and people
can be represented in the House of federation by at least one
Members of the house of the Federation shall be elected by the
state council. The state councils can themselves elect
representatives to the House of the Federation, or they can hold
elections to have the representatives elected by the people
The president of the FDRE is the Head of states. The House of Peoples Representatives
nominates the candidate for president. The nominee shall be
elected president if a joint session of the House of People's
Representatives and the House of the Federation approves his
candidacy by a two-third's majority vote. The term of office of
the president will be six years and no person can be elected
president for more than two terms.
highest executive powers of the Federal Government are vested in
the Prime Minister and in the council of ministers. The PM and
the Council of Ministers are collectively responsible for all
decisions they make as a body.
Prime Minister is the chief executive, the chairman of the council
of the ministers, and the commander-in-chief of the national armed
forces. The PM shall submit for approval to the House of people's
Representatives nominees for ministerial posts from among members
of the two Hoses or from among persons who are not members of
either House and possess the required qualifications. The Council
of Minister is responsible to the PM and, in all its decisions, is
responsible to the House of peoples Representatives. The council
of Ministers ensure the implementation of laws and decisions
adopted by the HPRS.
judicial authority is vested in the Federal Supreme Court. The
House of peoples Representatives can, by a two-thirds majority
vote, establish nationwide, or in some parts of the country only,
the Federal High Court and First-Instance Courts it deems
necessary. Unless decided in this manner, the jurisdiction of the
Federal High Court and of the First-Instance courts are hereby
delegates to the State Courts. State can establish State Supreme,
High and First-Instance courts. Judicial powers both at federal
and state levels, are vested in the courts. Courts of any
level are free from any interference of influence of any
governmental body, government official or from any other source.
Judges can exercise their functions in full independence and can
be directed solely by the law.
directives on external relations in its constitution prioring to
respect the equality and sovereignty of other state and not to
intervene in the their internal affairs. Besides, it works to
promote external relations on the basis of equality, and respect
of common interests as well as promote fraternal relations with
its neighbors and other African countries. In addition, the
country wants to create close economic links with its neighbors
and other countries supporting peaceful resolution to
international disputes if it happens.