የመለስ ዜናዊ ቃለ ምልልስ ከሮይተር

Current political, socio-economic and human rights issues.

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የመለስ ዜናዊ ቃለ ምልልስ ከሮይተር

Postby sewd05 » Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:35 pm

ADDIS ABABA, 17 October (IRIN) - Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was re-elected on 10 October for a third five-year term. He spoke to foreign media, including IRIN, on Saturday in an interview that sets out his views on the Ethiopian opposition and the deadlock over the border dispute with Eritrea. Below are excerpts:


Question: Why did the government remove immunity from opposition members?

Answer: As far as the removal of immunity from some of the parliamentarians is concerned, legally speaking most lawyers in Ethiopia would tell you that the parliament need not have taken this step simply because of the fact that until they are sworn in they are not parliamentarians. They have not been sworn in; therefore they do not enjoy the immunity of parliamentarians. The immunity applies to parliamentarians so long as they are not involved in serious crimes. The chairman of the CUD [opposition Coalition of Unity and Democracy, Hailu Shawel] has on a number of occasions publicly declared his intention, the intention of his party, to remove the government through street action. That is an act of treason in any country and under any language. And treason as far as I know treason is a very serious crime in any country.

The government plan was on the one hand to convey a very clear political message and on the other to avoid room for all sorts of interpretations of the law; to make sure that people understand what the consequences of their actions are. People were saying that as soon as the parliamentarians were stripped of their immunity they would be locked up. It has been nearly a week now and that has not happened. So the intention of the government was not to take this action with a view to following it up quickly with the detention of those personalities involved. If it had been that we would have detained them and that has not happened. It was just a precautionary measure and it has not closed off any opportunities or options, whether it is dialogue or ሙሉውን ለማንበብ ከዚሀ ይጫኑ
sewd05
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