The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE):
The Federation is composed of Nine States (killil): Tigray, Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somali, Benishangul-Gumuz, Southern Nations Nationalities and People Region (SNNPR), Gambella and Harari Regional States; and two Chartered Cities - Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa. The national regional states and the two city administrative councils are further divided into eight hundred woredas (districts) and around 15,000 kebeles (neighborhoods, the lowest level of elected administration).
Ethiopia is a multi-party federal democracy with legislative authority resting with the government headed by an executive prime minister and the elected House of Representatives (547 members) and the House of Federation (110 members). The Prime Minister is chosen by the party in power following multi-party democratic national and federal state elections which are held every five years. Parties can be registered at either the national or the federal state level. The President is elected by the members of the House of People's Representatives.
President:Dr. Mulatu Teshome
Prime Minister:Dr. Abiy Ahmed
Speaker of the House of People's Representatives:Muferiat Kamil
Cabinet (April 2018):
Demeke Mekonnen, as well as Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael, Minister of Information Communication Technology and Aster Mamo, Minister of Civil Service, as Deputy Prime Ministers; the latter two are in charge of separate clusters.
Below is the list of the ministers:
Cabinet (April 2018):
- Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen
- Dr Workneh Gebeyehu – Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Motuma Mekassa – Minister of Defense
- Dr. Amir Aman- Minister of Health
- Uba Mohammed –Minister of Communication and Information Technology
- Kebede Chane- Minister of Federal Affairs and Pastoral Area Development
- Dr Abreham Tekeste- Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation
- Siraj Fegessa - Minister of Transport
- Dr. Tilaye Gete – Minister of Education
- Melaku Alebel - Minister of Trade
- Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen –Minister of Industry
- Shiferaw Shigute- Minister of Agriculture and Livestock
- Tagese Chafo- Minister of Public Service and Human Resource Development
- Jantrar Abay- Minister of Urban Development and Housing
- Engineer Aisha Mohammed- Minister of Construction
- Motuma Mekassa- Minister of Mines Petroleum and Natural Resources
- Dr. Engineer Sileshi Bekele- Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity
- Dr Gemedo Dale- Minister of Environmental, Forest and Climate Change
- Dr Engineer Getahun Mekuria- Minister of Science and Technology
- Amb. Teshome Toga - Minister of Public Enterprise
- Dr Hirut Woldemariam - Minister of Labor and Social Affairs
- Yalem Tsegaye - Minister of Women's and Children's Affairs
- Ristu Yirdaw- Minister of Youth and Sports
- Fozia Amin- Minister of Culture and Tourism
- Berhanu Tsegaye - Attorney General
- Ahmed Shide - Minister of Government Communication Affairs Office
- Umer Hussen- Minister of Ethiopian Revenues and Costumes Authority
- Dr Yinager Dese- Commissioner of National Planning Commission
- Asmelash Woldesilasie – Chief Government Whip
Addis Ababa, one of the two chartered cities in the Federation, is the seat of the Federal Government and is also the capital of the Oromia Regional State. It is the largest city in the country with a population of 2.7 million at the 2007 census (estimated at 3.2 million in 2011). It lies on the central plateau at an altitude of 2300-2400 meters, and with an average temperature of around 160C.
The New Constitution
Under the new constitution, thee elections for Ethiopia's first popularly-chosen national parliament and regional legislatures were held in May 1995. Most opposition parties chose to boycott these elections as they did in 2000, in both cases giving the EPRDF a landslide victory. Opposition parties as a whole did finally participate in the 2005 election and the election produced a record number of voters, with 90% of the electorate turning out to cast their vote. The African Union report on the process commended the election for a "display of genuine commitment to democratic ideals ; the US Carter Center concluded that the majority of
the constituency results were credible and reflected competitive conditions; the US Department of State said the elections stood out as a milestone in creating a new, more competitive multi-party political system. The EU Observer Mission, however, uncritically accepting some opposition claims, suggested the election had fallen short of international standards, though it actually classified nearly ninety percent of the polling processes as good or very good. The final results showed opposition parties had increased their seats in Parliament from 12 to an impressive 176, and that they had won all but one of the seats for the Addis Ababa City Council. Despite this, the main opposition coalition refused to accept the results, claiming against all the evidence that it had won. It called for a boycott of parliament, and organized a series of street protests in Addis Ababa at the beginning of November. These rapidly turned violent, and nearly 200 people including 7 policemen died in three days of rioting. A subsequent judicial commission of enquiry deplored the deaths but cleared the police of using unnecessary force. Thousands of people were temporarily detained. A number of opposition political leaders were convicted of various offences and jailed, but pardoned two years later.
Before the next election, in 2010, most of the parties, determined to avoid another outbreak of violence, signed an Election Code of Conduct. The exception was the largest opposition coalition, the Forum for Democratic Dialogue (MEDREK), a coalition of eight parties which included most of the groups that boycotted Parliament in 2005. When it came to the vote, the electorate proved unimpressed by the opposition refusal to take up its seats in 2005, and equally disenchanted by MEDREK's failure to sign the Code of Conduct, by the opposition's lack of alternative policies, its failure to do more than criticize the EPRDF and the public bickering and quarrelling among its leaders prior to 2010. In sharp contrast, after 2005 the EPRDF had revitalized its structures, building up extensive Women's and Youth organizations and reorganizing itself through the country. It won an overwhelming majority in local elections in 2008 and used this as a springboard for the national and federal elections in 2010. By then it also had the added advantage of presiding over significant growth and development, in infrastructure, primary education and health, and of achieving double-digit growth for the whole period between 2005 and 2010. It was hardly surprising that the results were a landslide victory for the EPRDF, including a total reversal of the Addis Ababa results of 2005 - in 2010 it was the opposition which only won a single seat, although over 40% of the city did vote for opposition parties.