Parliamentary Oversight and its Role in Ensuring Constitutionalism and Accountability under the FDRE Constitution

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Addis Ababa University


Parliamentary oversight is neglected area of research in many jurisdictions and there is very limited discussion on the area. The situation in Ethiopia is not exception in this regard and it is totally neglected. Democratic government is characterized by transparency and accountability. The primary responsibility in this regard falls on the shoulder of the parliament. The parliament has the power and the mandate to oversight the executives to ensure their policy and action commensurate with the need of society. By the advent of modern parliaments, the legislative prerogative was the basic right to scrutinize government actions. The legislature, often conceived as the forum of the nation, acts as custodian of the electorate's trust. As such, it is tasked with ensuring executive accountability thraugh a rigorous parliamentary process that invariably assesses the performance of Cabinet Ministers and their departments. However, nowadays; the lawmakers do not seem to attach the same importance to this activity seeing it as a secondary function. In this thesis the focus is assessing whether parliamentary oversight in Ethiopia (at the federal level) is effective in ensuring constitutionalism and accountability. To this end, the issue of the possible tools of parliamentary oversight that available to the House of Peoples Representative and the factors affecting parliamentary oversight in Ethiopia also to be dealt. The FORE constitution empowers the House of Peoples Representative to coil and question any government officials including the PM and may take any measures it deems necessary. Likewise, proclamation No.470/2005 and Regulation No.3/2006 also empowers the HPR to oversee the executive's overoll actions and activities. Thus, this research aims at examining whether the existing Ethiopian parliament is effective in discharging its constitutional mandate of overseeing the executive and to what extent oversight ensures constitutionalism and accountability. The study examines the tools that the Hause uses in conducting oversighr and most impartantly factors affecting parliamentary aversight. The study will be conducted by analyzing pertinent laws and with theoretical and practicol analysis. Accordingly, the writer argues that the existing Ethiopian parliament is ineffective in conducting effective parliamentary oversight. Thus, objective of oversight which the regulation provides, ensuring constitutionalism, rule of law and accountability among other things remain in question. At the federal level, (in Ethiopia in general) there are different factors hindering the parliament's oversight function. Among this factor most importantly the party system (one party domination), lack of understanding of the significance of oversight by the MP, inadequate resources like financial canstraint, experts and lack of commitment and the status of legislative - executive relation are among the challenges of parliamentary oversight.



Constitutionalism, and Accountability Under the Fdre