Lawyers reflect on Ethiopian constitution interpretation

Constitutional inquiry, which is recently established held a televised consultation of lawyers and constitution experts to reflect on the articles of the constitution of Ethiopia on the fate of the next election, among others.

Article 54 of the constitution makes mandatory for Ethiopia to hold free and fair election every five years. While Article 93 gives the mandate for the government to postpone election during challenging times. Article 93 of the constitution is crucial it is put in place to protect article 54 of the constitution that makes mandatory for Ethiopia to hold free and fair election every five years, according to most of the experts who presented their views.

“What we have before us is an extraordinary interpretation necessitated by an extraordinary phenomenon…What we are doing is postponing election not suspending election,” said Dr. Tedesse Lencho, law professor. He suggested that using Article 93 of the constitution the country needs to postpone the election which was supposed to take place end of this August and overcome the hardship of COVID-19.

The Parliament of Ethiopia has decided recently for the constitution of Ethiopia to be reviewed after the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia decided to suspend the general election supposed to take place at the end of August 2020.

The experts stated that holding election on time just for the sake of meeting the time frame will jeopardize the very essence of the constriction, which is bringing a government to power through fair and free election.

Chaired by Meaza Ashenafi, Supreme Court President of Ethiopia and chair of the Constitutional Inquiry, this morning live televised experts’ session aimed to help the government make the right decisions on the way forward mainly on the schedule of the upcoming election and the fate of the current regime.

She indicated that similar experts’ session involving additional experts will be held next Monday.