Ethiopia’s Constitution: Can it stand the test of time?
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.