Military Decree with or without Parliament Vote is not a Solution for Political Crisis in Ethiopia

By Tedla Asfaw

On the 122nd Anniversary of AdwaYekatit 23 or March 2, 2018 behind the jubilation on Addis Ababa street something unbelievable was going on the  parliament floor. The news on FBC (Fana Broadcasting Corporate S.C.) a government media it said by the vote of 346 in favor 88 opposed  7 abstain out of 490 member of parliament from 547 the State of Emergency Decree was Approved. Quickly that was corrected to 395 in favor.

Voice of America Amharic on its Friday night said it got from the parliament official that there was an error on the Parliament floor and those who favored the State of Emergency. The correct number should have been 395. The corrected number is indeed above the two third required which is 365.
The question now is what “error” makes 395 to be 346 . In Amharic “SostMetozetenaAmest and SostMetoArbaSidest for 395 and 346 respectively is not close at all to believe a word misplacement.
Pro government website Aiga was frustrated and asked Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation(EBC) to air the house vote so that the confusion will be cleared. The website accused the “extremists” for playing the number game.
Airing the vote process if it can tell us members who participated is a good start. We need to count the MPs who showed up if it is 490 or 537 according to the speaker. The house speaker from what I hear on VOA Amharic asked members to pass the resolution by acclamation and was rejected. That was the first surprise. All the fiasco could have been avoided  if Aba Dula got his way.
 Until we know the exact number of the MPs who showed up to vote and the vote tally we will not know where the “Error” has come from. There is a big possibility that some MPs from OPDO and ANDM did not show up. The 490 number that was reported by FBC is a clue for that.
There is a warning from  Dr. Negasso Gidada former President of Ethiopia and OPDO member  on VOA. The no vote and abstain  which equals 95 is from OPDO more than half of its members. He said division within OPDO is very dangerous for the party as well as for Ethiopia.
The rest of the EPRDF coalition “unanimous” support for the decree especially that of ANDM is a huge blunder. Abdicating their role and solving the crisis in Gonder and North Wello by military decree  has a big consequence.
The opposition MPs from Oromo region articulated very well that crisis can only be solved by working with the people not by silencing people by military force. The ninety five people who do not support the Emergency Decree stood tall like our ancestors who defeated powerful foreign invader 122 years ago.
Ethiopia is going on a dangerous path to subdue popular movement led by the youth for Justice and Equality by a Military means. More blood is going to be shed and there is still time to avert a huge disaster of our making. Let the cool heads prevail !!!!!


  1. The votes are not legally binding.
    Tigray Front’s tactics never change. A year earlier it incited
    a conflict between Somali and Oromo resulting in over a million
    of the latter being forced from the region. Did you note what Tigray
    Front proposed as a solution? Resettle many of those in Addis Ababa area!
    This was identical tactic when it incited similar disturbances
    in Gumuz-Benishangul and Gambela!!

    Protests and civil disobedience must continue regardless. Never should
    citizens wait for ethnic party leaders to act. A new leadership already is emerging at the grassroots level. This is the only way to bring the already frightened and confused Tigray Front to its knees.


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