Constitutional Space for the Regional State Constitutions under the FDRE Constitution: The Case of Oromia Regional State

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Addis Ababa University


The objective of this research is to explore whether enough constitutional spaces are available for Regional States under FDRE constitution based on federal idea, focusing on Oromia Regional State Constitution practices. The researcher used qualitative approach and combination of doctrinal and socio-legal research in type. Desk reviews of primary documentary and secondary sources, personal observation and interviews with government officials were employed to collect data from participants. Comparative and thematic analyses were used to diagnose the relevant Federal and Oromia Regional State Constitution, legislations and the practices against the federal idea promised. The research has revealed that although FDRE Constitution allows the State to enact Regional State Constitutions, the prevailing practices are inconsistent with basic idea of federalism and constitutional promises. Only the federal government determines what to be included and excluded in the Regional State Constitution‟s and the time and reason for revising or amending them initiated solely by political calculation and disbursed from center. As a result, the Constitutional Spaces has not been utilized in Oromia Regional State Constitution. First, the Oromia Regional State Constitution has failed to establish government structure responsive to the Oromo people recognizing the local reality and adds not as much of value for improvement of government efficiency. Second, the human rights provisions incorporated under the ORSC insufficiently crafted to create boon security to the rights of the people and in shaping government behavior at RS level. Third, the laws and practice show that the ORSC deny recognizing essential official and non official institutions inherent to the culture of people of the region. As a result, the conflict resolutions mechanisms recognized by the ORSC has not enable the RS to foster their regional autonomy in employing local solution to local problems and to provide scheme amenable to the custom of the people of the region. To avoid the downbeat political practices betraying the idea of federalism that diminish the constitutional space to the ORSCs, the research recommends the government to amend or repeal all the laws, and boundless party politics to determine every things of Regional State Governments from center inconsistent with the federal arrangement sought to be implemented by FDRE Constitution. The study urges the federal government to unconditionally and immediately cease in superseding the State maters that would have been governed by Regional State Constitutions. The Regional State Constitution of Oromia has to be revised in autonomously from federal government political pressure of Party Centralism tactics to establish the government structure and system, institutions and conflict resolution mechanisms that acquiescent to local reality, historical deep-rooted norm and cultures of Oromo people.



Constitutional Space for the Regional State, Constitutions Under the Fdre Constitution, Oromia Regional State