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Ethiopia - House to endorse new proclamation on political parties registration
By Kirubel Tadesse
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia -
The House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR) of Ethiopia has referred an amendment bill on the registration of political parties to the Legal and Administration Affairs Standing Committee. The decision was passed with 294 votes in favor, 2 against and 51 abstentions.
During its 10th regular session on Thursday December 13, 2007, the House discussed the twenty eight page, sixty three article proclamation before voting to refer it to the standing committee. Some opposition Members of Parliament expressed their fear that article 54/2/b of the proclamation, which orders political parties to disclose in reports, the names of persons who give or pledge support, discourages people from helping the opposition. One MP explained that in Ethiopia’s current political reality, if one isn’t supporting the ruling party, he or she rather keeps support of any kind to any opposition party as a secret and this proclamation may cost the opposition that support.
During the session, the House referred the bill providing for the ratification of the African Nuclear-Weapon Free Zone Treaty to the Capacity Building Affairs Standing Committee as well as to the Foreign, Defense, and Legal and Administration Affairs Standing Committees for further assessment. The House also referred the draft proclamation to provide for period of limitation for submission of restitution cleared and for the repossession of public property taken through unlawful restitution, to the Legal and Administrative Affairs Standing Committee.
At the start of session, Minister of Mines and Energy, Alemayehu Tegenu, was present to reply to questions submitted from various MPs. Alemayehu, in his answers pointed that choosing which woredas get priority for power is decided by regional governments and not by his Ministry.
Alemayehu explained to the House that the government is devoting all possible energy and resources to electric power generation knowing that its performance plays a key role in the country’s industrialization process. “Temporary power cuts sometimes occur when people throw tree branches and leaves on the power lines, which results in a short circuit. In some areas, again poles also cause power interruptions when they fall. Although it is not only these factors which cause the problem, it still requires the cooperation of all citizens to safeguard power lines and utility poles,” Alemayehu concluded.
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