June 10: Speaker Keria replaced
Ethiopia’s upper parliamentary chamber, the House of Federation (HoF), on Wednesday elected a new speaker following the resignation of Keria Ibrahim.
Aden Farah, a former vice-president of the Somali regional state, takes the speakership position that had been held by Keria for the past two years. The new deputy speaker is Etsegent Mengistu replacing Mohammed Rashid.
The big news from the sitting on Wednesday was the decision of the HoF to accept a constitutional inquiry report that allowed for the extension of the mandate of the federal and regional legislatures.
In other resolutions, the house also approved the postponement of the fourth national housing and population census due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The House decided the census, which was already postponed twice, to take place within two years after confirmation by relevant bodies that the pandemic will no longer cause damages.
Mohammed Rashid (pic 3), deputy until today & also from Somali region, resigned saying he wanted to give the place for others pic.twitter.com/R6OnTWe4zo
— Addis Standard (@addisstandard) June 10, 2020
June 8: Speaker of Ethiopia’s upper parliament quits over postponed polls
Keria Ibrahim, speaker of Ethiopia’s upper parliamentary chamber, the House of federation, has quit her position citing a looming constitutional blank with postponed elections.
Her resignation was announced first by regional Tigray TV. Privately-owned Addis Standard said Keria’s resignation was on the outcome of a Council of Constitutional Inquiry on deferred elections.
According to Tigray Communication Affairs Bureau, Keria resigned from her position refusing to work with those who display unconstitutional & authoritarian practices. She has been in the role since April 2018.
She is quoted as saying she did not want to be part of a system where: “the constitution is being violated and an authoritarian government is being formed.”
Ethiopia, currently under a five-month State of Emergency imposed over the coronavirus pandemic have also postponed the much anticipated polls. The current government’s mandate expires in October and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has recently rejected calls for a transitional government.
The former speaker belongs to the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, TPLF, a former coalition partner of the now defunct Ethiopia Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF; which brought Abiy to power in 2018.
Abiy has since gone on to disband and rebrand it into the Prosperity Party, PP, which the TPLF opposed and refusing to be part of the new party. TPLF is currently the ruling party in the northern Tigray region but technically in opposition with the federal government.
Despite the shelving of polls by the elections body, the TPLF has insisted that elections will be held in the region according to schedule.