News: Ethiopia has finalized the names of 11 persons who will start the much-talked-about National Dialogue. The House of Peoples’ Representatives convened a special session today to appoint eleven individuals who will become commissioners of the National Dialogue Commission.
In December last year, the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives approved Proclamation No. 1265/2014 to establish the National Dialogue Commission (NDC) with a majority vote with 13 nos and one abstention. Subsequently, the HoPR’s Standing Committee on Law, Justice, and Democracy said Commissioners who will be leading the National Dialogue Commission will be selected by the people of Ethiopia and their appointments will be approved by the Parliament. On 04 January, the HoPR issued a shortlist of 42 people out of 600 names and called for public feedback for finalizing 11 names.
Eleven commissioners were supposed to be chosen out of the 42 earlier made public by HOPR. But at least 1 of the announced 11 names was not included in the 42-member list. Another name announced today, Mohammed Dirir, was publically rejected by Somali region-based opposition parties ONLF and Congress for Somali Cause last week.
Political parties have been raising objections to the process of selection of dialogue commissioners. Some have categorically rejected the trumpeted national dialogue. On 14 February, the Ethiopian Political Parties Joint Council (EPPJC), a coalition of more than 53 legally registered political parties in Ethiopia including the ruling PP, has issued a statement requesting the House of People’s Representatives (HoPR) to “temporarily halt” the ongoing proceedings to select the eleven commissioners to lead the planned National Dialogue Commission (NDC). It requested the parliament to resume the process in an “inclusive and trustworthy” manner.
Before that, Oromia-based opposition parties Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and Somali region-based Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) issued a statement saying the process of the nomination of Commissioners was not impartial. Read more..
Government news channels reported today that after considering the input from the community, the Standing Committee has proposed to nominate the following candidates to be the eleven commissioners:
1. Professor Mesfin Araya, 2. Mrs. Hirut Gebreselassie, 3. Dr. Tegegne Work Getu, 4. Ambassador Dr. Ayrorit Mohammed, 5. Mrs. Blen Gebremedhin, 6. Dr. Yonas Adaye, 7. Ato Zegeye Asfaw, 8. Ato Melaku Woldemariam, 9. Ambassador Mahamoud Drir, 10. Dr. Ambaye Ogato and 11. Mr. Mulugeta Ago