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n African Journal of Democracy and Governance - Constitutional experiences and the quest for constitutionalism in contemporary Ethiopia - research

Volume 6 Number 2-3
  • ISSN : 2313-6529

Abstract

L’Ethiopie, une nation avec presqu’un siècle des traditions constitutionnelles, a cependant une culture démocratique bien réduite. Au cours de sa longue histoire, le pays a connu quatre constitutions écrites, les constitutions de 1931, 1955, 1987 et 1995. Les trois premières constitutions avaient été adoptées sous la monarchie et la dictature et n’étaient donc pas démocratiques. La Constitution de la République Fédérale Démocratique d’Ethiopie est la meilleure. Cependant, l’Ethiopie ne peut pas encore être considérée comme un Etat véritablement constitutionnel et démocratique. Cet article se penche sur les expériences constitutionnelles et la quête du constitutionnalisme en Ethiopie, partant de ses traditions constitutionnelles. Il se focalise sur la Constitution de 1995 et examine ses faiblesses qui se rapportent notamment au fédéralisme ethnique, au droit à la libre-détermination ou à la sécession ainsi qu’aux droits à la terre. Enfin, l’auteur tire des leçons de ces expériences constitutionnelles et examine les perspectives du constitutionnalisme et de la démocratie en Ethiopie.

Ethiopia, a nation with almost a century old constitutional traditions, has very limited democratic culture. In its long history, the country was governed by four written constitutions, namely the 1931, 1955, 1987 and 1995 Constitutions. The first three Constitutions were ratified under the aegis of monarchy and dictatorship and were therefore undemocratic. The 1995 Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is the best. However, Ethiopia does not qualify as yet a fully constitutional and democratic state. This article reflects on the constitutional experiences and the quest for constitutionalism in Ethiopia, from its constitutional traditions to its contemporary constitutional experiences. It focuses on the 1995 Constitution and critically examines its weaknesses which mainly relate to ethnic federalism, the right to self-determination or secession, and the land rights. Finally, it draws lessons from the past and the present and considers the prospects for constitutionalism and democracy in Ethiopia.

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/content/journal/10520/EJC-1b539613d2
2019-11-01
2020-09-23

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