Tag Archives: democratic governance

The new dominant party in Ethiopia delays democratization

22 Mar

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Ethiopia Insight


As EPRDF’s successor, Prosperity Party will assume its suffocating role

Despite being the oldest independent country in Africa, Ethiopia has no experience of peaceful, let alone democratic, transfers of power. In fact, throughout much of its history, transitions from one regime to the next have invariably been shrouded in intrigue or marred by bloodshed. The last two rounds of power transfer for which we have a living memory (the ascent to power of the Derg in 1974 and its removal in 1991) involved unimaginable cruelty and the death of an untold number of people. Even the so-called democratic elections in recent years have been accompanied by violence, which at its peak in 2005 claimed the lives of more than 300 protesters in Addis Ababa alone. As a result, every potential change of power in Ethiopia raises fears of tumult of some kind.

The rise to power of the current Prime Minster, Abiy Ahmed, has all the hallmarks of a change of power (but technically it is not). Although the groundswell of protests that brought him to power cost many lives, all the subsequent changes of laws and regulations that transformed the political landscape in the country went largely peacefully. That is partly what seems to have generated a tenuous hope for peaceful democratization through an election, which we are led to expect in a few months’ time in August. This upcoming election is to be seen as a critical test for many things. On one hand, it will test the Prime Minister’s ability to act on his promises and fulfill the unprecedented, constitutional assurance of assuming power through the ballot box. On the other, it sadly could demonstrate that our optimism was either ill-founded or premature.

It is pertinent to ask why changes involving violence and instability have dominated governance in Ethiopia for so long. In my opinion, the burning demand at the heart of the long-standing discontent has always centered on the right to self-rule at local level. Somewhat overlooked, and, at times, dangerously underestimated, is the extent of centuries-long resentment harbored by people of the southern part of the country towards administration from Addis Ababa, ever since their incorporation into modern-day Ethiopia. For many nationalities, being part of Ethiopia has meant the loss of their language, culture, religion, and land.

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Is every official & institution in TPLF’s Ethiopia thief & corrupt? So seem to put question marks the Auditor-General’s finds!

17 Jun

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

In his speech to parliament to report budget performance of the TPLF administration for the year 2014/15, Auditor-General Gemechu Dubiso pointed out:

    “የ2006 በጀት ዓመት ሂሳብ በወቅቱ መዝጋት ያልቻሉ መ/ቤቶች ከጠቅላላው ከ52% በላይ ናቸው፡፡ ይህ መሻሻል ሲገባው እየባሰበት የመጣው የባለበጀት መ/ቤቶች ሂሳብን በወቅቱ ዘግቶ ለኦዲት ያለማቅረብ ጉዲይ በአንክሮ ሊታይና ተገቢው ህጋዊ እርምጃ መውሰድን የሚያሻው ጉዲይ ነው፡፡…

    … ከመንግሥት ግንባታዎች ጋር በተያያዘ በተለያዩ ምክንያቶች በወቅቱና በተያዘሊቸው በጀት ያለመጠናቀቅ ችግር፤ መፌትሔ ሣያገኙ ለረጅም ወራትና ዓመታት ጭምር የግንባታ ሂደታቸው የቆሙ ፕሮጄክቶችና የሚገናቡ ፕሮጄክቶች ጥራት አፊጣኝ እርምጃ የሚያሻው በመሆኑ ትኩረት ተሰጥቶ ሊፈታ ይገባል…

    በወጪ የተመዘገቡት ሂሳቦች በፊይናንስ አስተዳደር አዋጅና ደንብ መሰረት በአግባቡ የተፈጸሙ፤ እንዱሁም መ/ቤቶቹ ላገኙት አገልግልት የተፈጸመ መሆኑን ለማጣራት ኦዱት ሲደረግ፡ በ11 መ/ቤቶች ለተለያዩ ግንባታና ግዢዎች ብር 28,175,126.27 እና በ16 መ/ቤቶች ደግሞ በውሎ አበልና ለሌሎች ክፍያዎች ብር 4,897,884.43 በጠቅላላው ብር 33,073,010.70 በብልጫ ተከፍሎ ተገኝቷል፡፡

    …በብልጫ የተከለው ሂሳብም በግዢ ሂደት ዝቅተኛ ዋጋ ያቀረቡ እያለ ያለበቂ ምክንያት ከፍተኛ ዋጋ ካቀረቡት ዴርጅቶች ግዢ በመፈጸም፤ በዴጋሚ ወጪ በማዳረግ ወይም ከተገባው ውል ውጭ በመክፈል፣ ከውሎ አበል ተመን በላይ በመክፈል፣ እንዱሁም ለትርፌ ሰዓት፤ ለተለየያ ጥቅማ ጥቅም እና ለመኖሪያ ቤት አበል ከተተመነው በሊይ በብልጫ የተከፈለ መሆኑ የሚለት ይገኙበታል፡፡ ሊከፈል ከሚገባው በላይ ወጪ ማድረግ የመንግስት ሃብት ለብክነት የሚዲርግና ለሙስናም በር የሚከፍት ይሆናል፡፡”

    “The latest report by the Auditor General has also shown that the executive has spent billions without following the appropriate rules of the game. So much remains unaccounted for that it has become all the more difficult to distinguish money spent on the right thing from money siphoned off illegally.

    ….As it stands, the nation’s budgeting system does not provide the legislature clear, measurable and accountable targets to check the performance of the executive. Hence, the whole debate over the report of the OAG has been limited to accounting principles….

    There is no established linkage between budgeting and deliverables in Ethiopia. The entire budgeting process is guided by subjective assumptions. And in all cases, the assumptions are macro in nature. They are not sufficiently detailed to be used as instruments of oversight.”
    – Addis Fortune

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“Dear Secretary Kerry: U.S. Wrong to Endorse Ethiopia’s Elections”

19 Apr

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
April 17, 2015

“The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We are deeply troubled over the comments made by Under Secretary Wendy Sherman yesterday in Addis Ababa. The Under Secretary’s unfortunate statement calling Ethiopia a democracy puts the United States government on record as endorsing a government that systematically suppresses the fundamental rights of its citizens. Political pluralism and the ability of Ethiopians to freely express themselves, associate, and participate in peaceful assembly is far more restricted today than ten years ago under the same government, reflecting a dramatic deterioration in the government’s respect for fundamental civil and political rights.
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A Year after Meles’s Death, Citizens’ Rights Have Yet to Be Revived in Ethiopia

5 Sep

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory

Freedom House Statement

The death of Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi in August 2012 after two decades in power sparked hope that the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) would undertake reforms to open up the political system and loosen the harsh restrictions imposed on civil society, the media, and opposition parties. However, one year into the administration of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Meles’s successor, not much has changed in the highly repressive country.
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The situation of human rights in Ethiopia raises serious concerns & daunting dilemmas

3 Apr

by Chloe Schwenke, In Aid to Ethiopia, a Costly Trade-Off, Freedom House, Vice President of Global Programs

The dividing line between developmental assistance and aid that is intended to strengthen human rights and democratic governance is an obscure boundary, yet it has considerable moral and strategic significance. Donor countries must weigh a variety of factors—including security and economic questions and the geopolitical role of the beneficiary country—that often leave democracy and human rights goals on the back burner. Such a ranking of priorities has an immediate negative effect on the ground, and it ultimately represents a costly trade-off in which long-term interests are exchanged for short-term gains.
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Beyond 2015: A successor vision in the making of next Millennium Dev’t Goals (MDG)

11 Mar

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin

There are many of us who strongly believe that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been a major politico-economic initiative of the post-Cold War world. With the launch in September 2000 of UN-MDG by the UN General Assembly, the subsequent twelve years have unmistakably affirmed the continuing relevance of the United Nations system to the modern world with its seemingly eight simple goals, their 19 targets and 60 indicators.
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