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Ethiopia Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
    conventional short form: Ethiopia
    local long form: YeItyop'iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik
    local short form: YeItyop'iya
    abbreviation: FDRE

    Data code: ET

    Government type: federal republic

    Capital: Addis Ababa

    Administrative divisions: 9 states and 2 chartered cities*: Addis Ababa*; Afar; Amhara; Benshangul/Gumuz (Benishangul-Gumaz); Dire Dawa*; Gambela (Gambella); Harari (Harar); Oromia (Oromiya); Somalia (Somali); Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples (SNNP); Tigray (Tigre)

    Independence: oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world—at least 2,000 years

    National holiday: National Day, 28 May (1991) (defeat of MENGISTU regime)

    Constitution: promulgated December 1994

    Legal system: currently transitional mix of national and regional courts

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President NEGASSO Gidada (since 22 August 1995)
    head of government: Prime Minister MELES Zenawi (since August 1995)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers as provided in the December 1994 constitution; ministers are selected by the prime minister and approved by the House of People's Representatives
    elections: president elected by the House of People's Representatives for a six-year term; election last held June 1995 (next to be held NA 2001); prime minister designated by the party in power following legislative elections
    election results: NEGASSO Gidada elected president; percent of vote by the House of People's Representatives—NA

    Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Federation or upper chamber (117 seats; members are chosen by state assemblies to serve five-year terms) and the House of People's Representatives or lower chamber (548 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote from single-member districts to serve five-year terms)
    elections: regional and national popular elections were held in May and June 1995 (next to be held NA 2000)
    election results: percent of vote—NA; seats—NA; note—EPRDF won nearly all seats

    Judicial branch: Federal Supreme Court; the president and vice president of the Federal Supreme Court are recommended by the prime minister and appointed by the House of People's Representatives; for other federal judges, the prime minister submits candidates selected by the Federal Judicial Administrative Council to the House of People's Representatives for appointment

    Political parties and leaders: Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front or EPRDF [MELES Zenawi]

    Political pressure groups and leaders: Oromo Liberation Front or OLF; All Amhara People's Organization; Southern Ethiopia People's Democratic Coalition; numerous small, ethnically-based groups have formed since former President MENGISTU'S defeat, including several Islamic militant groups

    International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador BERHANE Gebre-Christos
    chancery: 2134 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 234-2281
    FAX: [1] (202) 328-7950

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador David H. SHINN
    embassy: Entoto Street, Addis Ababa
    mailing address: P. O. Box 1014, Addis Ababa
    telephone: [251] (1) 550666
    FAX: [251] (1) 551328

    Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and red with a yellow pentagram and single yellow rays emanating from the angles between the points on a light blue disk centered on the three bands; Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa, and the colors of her flag were so often adopted by other African countries upon independence that they became known as the pan-African colors

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)