Tigray’s pre-war letters: On the Extraordinary Session of the House of Federation

The following letter was issued by the government of Tigray on 03 September 2020. We publish it here as is, as part of Tghat’s effort to collect and publish Tigray government’s press releases and letters from before the start of the war on Tigray.

The Government of Regional National State of Tigray Public and Government Relations Bureau

Date: September 03, 2020                                                   Ref. No: 8024 /12/12

Statement by the National Regional Government of Tigray Regarding the Extraordinary Session of the House of Federation 

Mekelle

 Following the decision by the National Regional Government of Tigray to hold regional and local elections, in accordance with the FDRE constitution and the constitution of the National Regional Government of Tigray, all relevant entities in our state have been doing their share to make the upcoming elections a success. At this point, all pre-election activities are being finalized within the bounds of the law, with the two outstanding issues being the holding of the actual election and the subsequent formation of a democratically elected legitimate government. Be that as it may, it is to be recalled that the House of Federation had announced that this electoral process must be stopped and, failing that, it would be forced to take punitive measures. The government of Tigray had also provided an appropriate and timely response to the letter from the Speaker of the House of Federation. Even now, the House of Federation, in a departure from routine procedures, is planning to hold an extraordinary session on September 5, 2020, a session whose agenda has not been communicated in advance. As stated clearly in the previous letter to the House of Federation, it should be known that any decision designed to disrupt regional elections in Tigray is completely unacceptable. Whereas it is essential and appropriate to encourage people to hold elections to choose those that will govern them, discouraging such an endeavor and threatening to take punitive measures for failing to heed such a dubious proposition is a morally repugnant position that reeks with the stench of an undemocratic behavior. At a time when, in parallel with a concerted campaign to contain and suppress the Coronavirus pandemic, our people are acting with an elevated spirit of responsibility, great interest, high participation and impressive transparency to conduct regional elections, it should be clear that any and all interventions by the federal government with the express goal of disrupting this sacred democratic project will have far-reaching consequences, not the least of which is putting in danger the very survival of the nation. Accordingly, the Executive of the National Regional Government of Tigray has passed the following decisions:

  1.  Since the 6″ regional elections are being held in accordance with the FDRE constitution as well as the constitution of the National Regional Government of Tigray, we would like to reaffirm that this election will not stop even for a second on account of federal interventions and other overt and covert pressures that may be applied. 
  2.  The House of Federation, realizing that passing any decision designed to stop or otherwise disrupt the election is tantamount to a declaration of war, must refrain from committing such a historic blunder. 
  1. We would like to state to all friends and foes alike that the Prime Minister and the House of Federation will bear all the responsibility for any adverse consequences that follow any decision by the House of Federation. 
  2. Esteemed people of Tigray: be ready to counter with your legendary competence any and all efforts by the federal government and/or any other actors to undermine what is a fundamental expression of your right of self-determination, the right to hold elections to  choose your own leaders.
  3.  Esteemed nations, nationalities, peoples of Ethiopia, and multinat call upon you to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Tigray and provide comprehensive support as we conduct regional elections, whose sole objective is to facilitate the formation of a legitimate government consistent with our constitutionally enshrined fundamental right of self-determination, and strenuously object to any and all efforts by the federal government as well as other malign actors to undermine our election. 
  4. We call on all national institutions created to preserve the constitution and help deepen democracy to provide the support expected of you to make our elections a success and discharge your constitutional obligations by opposing any interventions designed to disrupt our elections. 
  5. We call upon the international community to contribute to the success of our elections, condemn any and all interventions to disrupt our elections, put pressures on malign actors and generally fulfill your responsibility.
  6. The pervasive danger of lawlessness and degradation of constitutional order currently afflicting our nation can only be resolved via an inclusive dialogue involving all relevant stakeholders; trying to solve this problem through force and coercive pressures will only lead the country towards greater dangers; we would also like to state that forces bent on undermining the constitutionally enshrined right and powers of the people of Tigray to hold elections and those that provide succor to such forces must refrain from their despicable endeavors; finally, the National Regional Government of Tigray reiterates that it has made comprehensive preparations to defend our people’s right of self-determination.

Sincerely,

 Liya Kassa Werede 

Head of Communication Affairs Bureau


Tghat thanks Cherkos Haylay for preparing it for publication.

See also

Council of ministers Resolution

House of Federation Resolution

Ethiopian parliament votes to cut ties with Tigray region leaders

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