Members of the public gathering yesterday in the august chambers of parliament witnessed an unprecedented turn of events as high-profile government officials, both from the federal and regional levels, as well as MPs engaged in a heated debate over the wisdom and fairness of discussing the draft proclamation on the special privileges that Oromia would enjoy in Addis Ababa at this point in time when Oromia is being rocked by violence.
Both House Speaker Abadulla Gemeda and Chief Government Whip Asmelash Gebresellasie had to excuse themselves from the ongoing EPRDF executive committee meeting called to deliberate on current issues of national import to attend the public hearing. The committee earlier this week released a statement owning up blame for the party’s rejection by growing ranks of the public, resulting in general discontent and unrest all over the country.
Abadulla and Asmelash went on damage-control mode, trying to mollify MPs and representatives from Oromia region and others who sought to disrupt proceedings until the situation unfolding in Oromia is resolved.
Reminding the assembly that the forum was convened by the Legal and Justice Affairs Standing Committee – an offshoot of the highest legislative body in the land – Abadulla insisted that the session should proceed, and asked those taking issues with it to leave.
In the end, Abadulla and Asmelash’s efforts proved futile as the meeting was adjourned to another time.