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President opens new parliamentary session

In its extended sixth-year tenure, the Ethiopian parliament was officially opened on Monday with President Sahlework Zewde addressing the joint session of the two houses on plan of the government for the upcoming budget year.

In the President’s address, she said the government will take strict measures against any armed groups or individuals severely affecting the lives of citizens across the nation. In addition, the President said the government will work with relevant stakeholders to build democracy on solid foundations and ensure rule of law.

 Noting that democracy is not attained through longing alone, but rather through perseverance and commitment, Sahlework said activities on democratization and prevalence of lasting peace will be carried out by involving the entire population and political parties in the country. 

According to her, the government believes that the destiny of the country and its people rests on effectively and carefully constructed democratic order.

The president, who blamed heinous acts and lawlessness that took the lives and destroyed properties of people in the last Ethiopian year, pointed out that the crime was “a clear demonstration of the way we misunderstand democracy.”

Sahlework stated that strict measures would be taken to prevent any armed groups or individuals from engaging in illegal activities in order to nurture lasting peace across the country.   

Security measures will be put in place to ensure that the safety of citizens is not compromised under any circumstances; she said adding, the government is determined to make the upcoming election fair, democratic, and credible compared to elections held in the past decade.

Furthermore, she said the 2012 Ethiopian budget year was a year in which we achieved many historic diplomatic victories and that showed we are capable of safeguarding the interests of our country on our own. According to the President, the ongoing negotiations with countries in the diplomatic sector, especially on the Great Renaissance Dam (GERD), will continue in the coming fiscal year in a manner that respects the interests of our country.

She said the sixth national election to be held in the current budget year, will be a year of fair competition, fair representation of political parties, safety of citizens and the rule of law.

Reminding that COVID-19 continues to be a danger and its impact on the economy felt, she said the country will focus on strict financial and fiscal policies to control inflation.

The President said the overall changes that started should be achieved and increasing the participation of citizens, evolving approach to agricultural innovations and farming practices, revitalizing the tourism sector and taking the appropriate action on delayed projects and enable them provide the right services, are the government's priorities.