Political parties agree on new Code of Conduct
Following a lengthy and tiresome negotiations and deliberations, 107 Ethiopian political parties including the ruling party, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF),have inked the much anticipated code of conduct that will guide their operations and political activities on wards.The signing event took place in a ceremony held at Hilton Hotel in the presence of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and representatives from parties and civil society on Thursday, March 14, 2019.
The signed document, consists of twenty articles and three chapters, and is going to set the rule of the game in the political spectrum and the signing parties agreed to abide by the principles and rules enshrined in the covenant.
The document will govern the relationship between and among political parties, as they agree to establish a joint council where each party is going to be represented.The chair will be elected every six month and is tasked to settle disputes arising between and among political parties.
Following the signing ceremony, many political figures expressed their hope and expectations. Though many of the parties have signed the document, some expressed their concern.
As far as Christian Tesfaye, head of the public relation of National Movement of Amhara (NAMA),is concerned,what is worrying is not the covenant but the conduct of parties, the ruling party in particular. In this regard, he told The Reporter that “this agreement is going to benefit all unlike the previous agreements, which was designed and implemented by the ruling party.This agreement is going to shape the political activity in the country, since the ruling party is represented as one political party; it is not going to be easy to do whatever they want on wards.”
“If the ruling party wants to act as it acted previously, it is not going to be accepted by both the public and the political parties. I don’t even think the government will choose that path because it will only result in the destruction of a country,” Christian further stated.
Similarly, a seasoned political party leader,Merera Gudina (Prof.), also stated that if the government is going to be committed to play the game accordingly, the agreement that was signed would play an important role in widening the political space and in improving the political activities in the country.
According to him, what matters most at this critical moment is the determination and commitment of the signatories,especially the ruling party, to fulfill the maters stipulated in the covenant.
Following the signing ceremony, the PM congratulated all parties that signed the document and said that the signing of the document is a millstone to build and foster a democratic system in the country.
Similarly, the PM further stressed that all political parties which are part of the historic moment to consider the document as one that guides the political activities of all and finally called up on the law and security enforcement entities as well as the media to serve all parties equally.