African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 382

Review

Minority rights protection under the second house: The Ethiopian federal experience

Alene Agegnehu*
  • Alene Agegnehu*
  • Department of Civic and Ethical Studies, Adigrat University, P. O. Box 50, Adigrat, Ethiopia.
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Worku Dibu
  • Worku Dibu
  • Department of Civic and Ethical Studies, Adigrat University, P. O. Box 50, Adigrat, Ethiopia.
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  •  Received: 21 November 2016
  •  Accepted: 20 March 2017
  •  Published: 30 June 2017

Abstract

Right after the overthrow of dictatorial military regime since 1991, Ethiopia underwent a remarkable change of political system. It has restructured the society based on federal state arrangement which creates nine self-administered regional government taking linguistic, settlement pattern, and consent of the governed into consideration. Addis Ababa and although not mentioned in the constitution, Dire Dawa become autonomous city administration outside regional sphere of competence but administered and responsible to the federal government. The federal arrangement further creates Bi-cameral federal institutions, House of People Representatives and House of Federation for the site of regional people representatives and minorities that are found within the regional government, respectively. Under the house of people representative, out of 548 seats, 20 are lefts and reserved for minority groups. Under house of federation, this is commonly understood as the house of minorities in which every nation, nationality and people of Ethiopia have representative that reflect the interests of their minority groups. Every nation, nationality and people has a minimum of one representative and possibly to have additional representative based on their population number. The house with its entrusted power to interpret constitution, enables safeguarding the constitutionally granted minority rights. Such recognition of cultural diversity and the institutionalization of minority rights is a critical factor that acts as the viability of ethnic based federalism in Ethiopia. 

Key words: Ethiopian federalism, house of federation, minority rights, minority rights protection.