HomeWorld NewsAfrica (Page 571)


Mahlet Fasil

The federal high court Arada branch 19th criminal bench has today granted the police investigating senior opposition figure Bekele Gerba and 22 others additional 28 days and adjourned the next hearing until April 15th 2016. The police were given the additional 28 days at a closed hearing this afternoon.


Part – I

By Tsegaye R Ararssa

Between 1991 and 1995, Ethiopia had another historical opportunity to (re)constitute itself as a polity. Having used (or abused) that opportunity, on December 8, 1994, the Constitutional Assembly adopted a constitution that came into force in 1995 (see interview here). The controversy around the constitution 21 years after its adoption suggests that the acceptability of the constitution among the various sectors of the society is still a work in progress. A simple content-context-process analysis of this constitution will quickly show the cracks of its legitimacy. Such lack of legitimacy at the moment of ‘(re)founding’ the polity and the deficit in basic consensus about the state-society relationship has a profound impact on the durability and practical utility of the constitution as a frame of governance in the country.

Dr. Negaso Gidada studied History at the Haile Sellasie 1st University (now the Addis Abeba University) from 1966 to 1971. From ‘71 to ‘74 he served as school director and history teacher in Aira, in Western Wallaga. He left for Germany in October 1974 and lived there until July 1991. During this time he studied History in the department of Ethnology at the J.W.Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. During the 1991 regime change in Ethiopia Dr. Negaso left Germany for Ethiopia and joined the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), which makes up one of the four coalitions of the ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Front (EPRDF). In Ethiopia one of the milestones of Dr. Negaso’s political activities in early ‘90s was to become a member of the Constitutional Drafting Committee, which was tasked to draft the present Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE). Dr. Negaso also served as Chairman of the Constitutional Assembly, which adopted the current constitution. In 1995 he became the first Head of State of the FDRE and had signed on the proclamation that adopted the final copy of the constitution, which remained intact, but controversial, as of yet.