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Meles Zenawi

Meles Zenawi, chairman of the majority party in Parliament, the EPRDF, was elected Prime Minister, and Negasso Gidada became non-executive President. There were national and federal elections in 2000, 2005 and 2010. In October 2001, Girma Wolde-Giorgis was elected president and again in 2007. Within a year of the establishment of the EPRDF government, more than a hundred political parties and organizations had emerged. There was a similar explosion of private media publications though numbers of both have decreased subsequently. The election for members of the 547-member constituent assembly was held in June 1994. This

assembly adopted the constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in December 1994, setting up a federal parliamentary democracy with an executive prime minister chosen by the party in power after legislative elections. Legislative power rests in the government and the two houses of parliament, the House of Peoples' Representatives (547 members) and the Council of Federation (110 members) whose members are designated by the elected Regional State Councils. [Picture links?? Parliament in session] There is an independent judiciary whose appointments are made by the House of Representatives on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Judicial Administrative Council. There is an Ethiopian Human Rights Council and an active Ombudsman's Office.  The constitution assigns extensive power to regional states to establish their own government and democracy according to the federal government's constitution. The regional states (killil) elect regional councils which have legislative and executive power operating through an executive committee and regional sectoral bureaus. Under Article 39 of the Ethiopian Constitution the regional states also have the right to secede from Ethiopia. This structure of elected executive councils is replicated at the woreda level and at the lowest level of administration, the kebele.