Form of Government: Federal Republic
Official Name: The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
President: His Excellency Girma Wolde-Giorgis
Elected by the House of Peoples' Representatives & House of the Federation in September, 2001 for a six-year term
Constituents of the federation: Nine states, and two administrative cities, each administered by elected representatives. Power is devolved to regional, woreda and kebele levels.
Prime Minister: His Excellency Meles Zenawi
Has been Prime Minister since August 1995, designated by the party in power following legislative elections
Deputy Prime Minister: His Excellency Addisu Legesse
House of People's Representatives, made up of 548 members directly elected by districts;
House of the Federation, with 108 members representing the nine regions in the federation.
Judicial Branch: Federal Supreme Court
National Flag: Three wide horizontal stripes of green, yellow and red with the emblem of a radiant star in the center of the flag with a light blue circle providing background to the star.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was established on August 24, 1995, after successful elections took place in May 1995. This completed a four-year transition from a Marxist, military regime to a democracy. A newly elected national parliament and democratic government are in place with a new constitution, which was completed in December 1994.
A policy of decentralization is a major focus of Ethiopia's institutional reform program. As part of this policy, a new federal system that delegates power to nine regional governments was introduced in 1992. The new system is designed to respond to the needs and aspirations of all nationalities in the federation.
The national flag symbolizes the honor and beauty of Ethiopia: green represents the fertility of the country; yellow represents religious freedom; and the red represents the lives that were sacrificed in the protection of national integrity.
The Council of Peoples' Representatives endorsed the proclamation of a new emblem on the national flag. The new emblem has a radiant star with equidistant rays to signify the equality of all the Ethiopian people, regardless of ethnic group, religion, gender etc. The shining rays from the star represent hope for a brighter future for Ethiopia. Surrounding the emblem is a blue background, which denotes peace and democracy in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia: State Structure and Powers Nomenclature of the State: The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
The F.D.R.E comprises the Federal Government and the state members.
The Federal capital city is Addis Ababa.
Member States of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
The State of Tigray
The State of Afar
The State of Amhara
The State of Oromia
The State of Benshangul/Gumuz
The State of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples
The State of the Gambella Peoples
The State of the Harari Peoples
The Somali National Regional State
All have equal rights and powers.
Amharic is the working language of the Federal Government. All Ethiopian languages enjoy equal state recognition. Members of the Federation may, by law, determine their working languages.
The Government is Parliamentarian in form. The Parliament is bi-cameral (there are two Houses):
The House of Peoples' Representatives
The House of Federation
The House of Peoples' Representatives has the power of legislation in all matters assigned by the constitution to Federal Jurisdiction. The term of duty is five years The House of Federation has the power to interpret the constitution. The term of duty is five years. Both Houses have a speaker and deputy-speaker.
The President of the F.D.R.E is the Head of State. The term of duty is six years and the President shall not be elected for more than two terms. The President is elected by a two-thirds majority vote of a joint session of the House of Peoples' Representatives and the House of Federation.
The Prime Minister and Council of Ministers
The highest executive powers of the Federal Government are vested in the Prime Minister and in the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister is elected from among members of the House of Peoples' Representatives and power of government shall be assumed by the political party, or a coalition of political parties, that constitutes a majority in the House of Peoples' Representatives. The Prime Minister is the chief executive, the chairman of the Council of Ministers and the Commander-in-Chief of the National Armed Forces. His term of office is for five years.
The Judiciary is independent. Judicial powers, both at Federal and State level, are vested in the courts. Courts of any level shall be free from governmental body, government official or from any other source. Judges shall exercise their functions in full independence and shall be directed solely by the law. The Federal Supreme Court shall have the highest and final judicial power over Federal matters. The President and Vice-President of the Federal Supreme Court shall, upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister, be appointed by the House of Peoples' Representatives. State Supreme Courts shall have the highest and final judicial powers over state matters. The President and Vice-President of the State Supreme Council shall, upon the recommendation of the chief executive of the state, be appointed by the State Council.