August 18, 2018
Addis Ababa (ENA) – The leadership of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) urged the need for free and independent institutions in order to properly implement the federal system.
OFC Chairman Merera Gudina told ENA that federal institutions need to be allowed to exercise independently following a panel discussion on federalism held today.
“Electoral board, courts, media, and especially security and defense must be independent and free,” he pointed out.
“The main problems in the Ethiopian federal system emanate from beliefs of the ruling party; revolutionary democracy is the mother of most problems; it does not allow free and independent institutions as well as separation of power. It controls government institutions, democratic institutions, police, defense and even the media,” Merera Gudina said.
Merera urged the ruling party to further widen the democratic space for opposition parties.
OFC Deputy Chairman, Gebru Gebremariam said lack of proper implementation is the only problem of the federal system in Ethiopia.
“Federalism has no problem; the problem is on its genuine implementation as it has been stipulated in the constitution. Federalism has not been applied properly in this country that is the only problem,” he said.
However, Gebru said his party is suffering from the improper implementation of the system.
“It is fine as it is now especially for our people, the Oromo nationality is very loyal to this federalism. But my party is suffering of its improper implementation.”
“Democratic institutions are being used to be ordered by EPRDF. These democratic institutions cannot do their own job by themselves; they are influenced by the ruling party.”
“If we are to democratize this country, we have to establish an independent electoral board. Then it could carry out free, fair, credible, participatory and acceptable election without any interference,” he added.
Members of the Oromo Federalist Congress attended the panel discussion that the party held today in Addis Ababa on the significance of federalism and its implementation.
Prime Minister Abiy has been calling domestic and exiled political parties to be part of the effort aimed to widen the political space and building democratic system.
Several political parties that have been in exile have returned home accepting the call from the Prime Minister to work in the country.