Constitutional Inquiry Holds Public Hearing with Constitution Drafting Commission Members, Experts

Addis Ababa: Council of Constitutional Inquiry held public hearing this afternoon with members of the Constitution Drafting Commission and experts who had roles in writing the present constitution.

Ambassador Taye Atskeselassie, who was a member of the Constitution Drafting Commission, said “no constitution envisages power vacuum.”

He added that the occurrence of calamities, famine and foreign aggression were raised during the drafting of the constitution, though not in such unprecedented and exceptional particularity.

Consequences of power vacuum are problematic for Ethiopia, Ambassador Taye said, adding that “exceptional times call for exceptional measures.”

According to him, the constitution should be taken in its entirety not in single articles. This will help to see the core pillars.

Former Addis Ababa University President, Professor Andreas Eshete said thorough discussion with the concerned bodies is essential since COVID-19 could stay longer than a year or so.

Andreas argues that vesting upon the House of Federation to decide on such matters is wrong for it is unfair for anyone in power to decide on the fate of its power.

Constitutional Assembly member, Dr. Tessema Gaddisa said on his part the issue of filling power vacuum during adverse famine, for example, were raised during the process, but election was considered as mandatory provision of coming to power.

This was done to avoid the coming to power through coup d’etat and hereditary lineages as  before, he elaborated.

According to him, extending the term of a president by one year in the constitution was considered as a means to handle power vacuum.

He emphasized the need to discuss the issue among political parties, civil organizations and other concerned bodies to legitimize the coming to power of anyone until election.

The second round discussion is part of the process for the constitutional interpretation recently approved by the House of People’s Representatives to postpone the 6th General Election.

 

 

Source: Ethiopia News agency

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