Addis Abeba– Founding members of the newly established regional opposition party, the Sidama Federalist Party (SFP), held the the founding convention of the party on Monday 29 August and elected the chairman and the executive committee members of the party.
Held at Beshu Tullu complex tower in Hawasaa, the incoming capital city of Sidama regional state, the convention elected Tessema Elias, Assistant Professor and lecturer of Law at Hawassa university School of Law, as the Chairman of the party.
Assistant Professor Tessema is a well known advocate of the Sidama people’s struggle for self administration who had been jailed for nearly a year in connection with the protests for Sidama statehood. He was one of the 60 people whose charges were discontinued by the federal prosecutor’s office in February 2020.
Yesterday’s convention has also elected Patros Dubiso as Deputy Chairman and Head of External relations office and Desalen Demse, Chairman and Head of the Organization.
Other members of the executive committee include: Mulu Galasa (Mrs.), Chairperson of Women and Youth Counseling, Genene Hassana, Head of the Party Office, Dr. Pengdahu Ashende, Head of Training and Entrepreneurship Sector, Abnet Rorato, Head of Social and Economic Sector, Temeseng Kaqawo, Head of Research and Strategy, Mesle Harbacho, Head of Finance and Asset Management, Ishete Ifa, Head of Media and Publication Sector, Ladho Yosef, Head of Legal Affairs, Ayele Maraso, Head of Culture and Language Sector, and Tsadqu Moses, Head of Communication and Public Relations of the party.
Similarly, the party has approved its founding program at the convention. It was in July this that National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) issued a provisional registration certificate to the party. SFP’s party program is rooted the implementation of a true self-rule for the people of Sidama as the party believes that the Sidama people’s struggle for true self-administration hadn’t been answered despite decades of “bittier struggle”, which has led to the Sidama to became Ethiopia’s 10th regional state.
Following the issuance of the certificate, the SFP said that the “constitutional right to self-governance was not properly restored,” and criticized that “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.”
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. AS