Addis Abeba – National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has issued a provisional registration certificate to Sidama Federalist Party (SFP), a newly formed political party representing the Sidama people as its main constituency.
SFP told Addis Standard that “the Sidama people are a people of struggle who have been fighting hard for self-governance, culture and language since 135 years,” and realized fruits of self administration when, “through this bittier struggle of the people”, Sidama became a regional state. However, the SFP said this “constitutional right to self-governance was not properly restored. In practice, under the current national system, the states are governed by a power appointed by the central government. This is due to the fact that the ownership/sovereignty of the states stipulated in the constitution is being eroded due to the centralization of the ruling party that is governing the country,” the statement said.
Sidama regional state became Ethiopia’s 10th regional state after a referendum in November 2019 in which more than 2.3 million registered voters overwhelmingly voted in favor. Since then, the region is being administrated by the ruling Prosperity Party.
It also criticized that the political, economic, social, cultural and justice sectors of the Sidama region “have not taken the correct path” and that the region was experiencing unreasonable “unemployment crisis, lack of justice, corruption, tribalism, discrimination, and the politics of exclusion”, which SFP said was |becoming systemic.”
The lack of a strong competing party that can organize the people and fight at the level is required in order to realize the basic objective of the Sidama people’s struggle and overcome the problems the people are facing, the statement said.
SFP said it’s formation was in order to answer these “basic questions of our people”, and its establishment has become necessary a political party that is organized to include all sections of the society at the level required by current reality, “has the principle of democratic values, fights for the implementation of democratic and public ownership of power, believes in pluralism and dialogue, follows true national federalism and works with national parties that have the same goal to make it a reality.”
The party said it has established a “temporary committee” that is completing the work required to obtain a permanent registration certificate from. The committee is currently headquartered in Hawassa, the future capital city of Sidama regional state, where it is enlisting more members, according to the statement. AS