Seventeen Ethiopian political parties, including the ruling party the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), on Monday agreed to negotiate on various proclamations and laws, including an anti-terrorism law.
The 17 Ethiopian political parties, who are undergoing discussion to broaden the country’s political sphere, have also agreed to negotiate on the Mass Media and Freedom of Information Proclamation.
Shiferaw Shigute, head of EPRDF Office, assured representatives of opposition parties that his party was ready to negotiate on suggestions made.
The ruling party, however, stressed that it is not in favor of amending the aforementioned law and proclamations.
One of the areas that the ruling party rejected to discuss is the draft agenda tabled by six opposition parties demanding the current state of emergency for negotiation.
“The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front can not negotiate on the matter while the country is under emergency rule,” local media FBC quoted Shigute as saying.
Opposition parties also requested to discuss on various articles that includes Article 39 of the Ethiopian constitution on secession and self-determination.
Shigute, however, said that his party “will not negotiate on such articles since parties have no right to negotiate on the issues and amend the country’s constitution.”
Shigute also opposed opposition parties’ request to discuss on the condition of political prisoners, saying that “the party doesn’t negotiate on the issue as there is no political prisoner or a prisoner of conscience in Ethiopia.”
Ethiopia, which has been under a state of emergency for over seven month now, has embarked on a nationwide reform process since the end of 2016 in a bid to provide concrete answers to the preoccupations of the public.