Speech by the

President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Girma Wolde Giorgis

at the Opening of the House of Peoplesí Representatives and the House of Federation,

Addis Ababa, Oct 10, 2005

 

Honourable Members of the House of Peoplesí Representatives and of the House of Federation of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,

 

Esteemed Compatriots and guests,

 

First of all, on behalf of the Government of the FDRE and on my own behalf I would like to congratulate all of you members of the House of Peoplesí Representatives and the House of Federation representing the Regional States, for your success on starting the new term.

 

As we all know, general elections for the Federal parliaments and State councils were held last May for the third time in our country. The elections, in addition to being held in a free, fair transparent and unprecedented manner were an exercise in which the peoples of the country participated with great commitment and sense of ownership.

 

It is known that the results of the 3rd national elections were made public according to the legal provisions of our country. The disputes that followed after the elections have also been concluded in a transparent manner based on the agreement reached among the contending parties in accordance with the law of the land.

 

The issue of the elections has therefore been concluded successfully, but if there are parties which want to contest the results, they can appeal to the courts of law which are legally available. Following the conclusion of the elections, you the representatives of the peoples from all corners of the country are now poised to form the Federal parliament and the Federal government thereof. For this great achievement I congratulate you and all the peoples of our country whom you represent.


Honourable members of the two Parliaments,

 

Esteemed compatriots and guests,

 

It is known that in the last 14 years immense activities in the fields of democratization and good governance have been undertaken. These activities which were more intensively carried out in the last five years, were characterized by the governmentís extensive engagement in capacity building to ensure the existence of an efficient civil service and service delivery. Accordingly, the results achieved, so far, have been quite encouraging. However, as the establishment of democratization and good governance, demand continuous and sustainable efforts, it is necessary and extremely important to focus on concerns raised by the people both in the rural and urban areas and address them promptly.

 

In this regard, I would like to point out that in the next several years the governmentís focus will have to be on solving our shortcomings in policy implementation and good governance as well as enhancing the democratic culture. These are issues that cannot be left to the government alone. In fact, they are issues that demand the unrelenting involvement and participation of all our peoples. I would like to take this opportunity to call upon all Ethiopians to ensure that the democratization and good governance which are already in place continue unabated with their focused and unrelenting participation.

 

Rapid economic development which benefits all our peoples at all levels is also one of the cardinal issues of our country on par with democratization and good governance. Intensive work has been undertaken so far to accelerate economic development in our country which has registered an average growth of 10% in the last two years which is truly encouraging. It is incumbent on the government, therefore, to ensure the sustainability of this positive trend in the future. The government strongly believes that the private sector and the people have an irreplaceable role to play in accelerating our economic development. It has been engaged in various activities to ensure that our countryís economic growth surges upward continuously and will no doubt, continue to do so in the future. I call upon our peoples and all stakeholders, again, to close ranks and work hand in hand with the government to implement, further, our economic plan so as to achieve the results that we have set as our goals in the shortest possible time.

It goes without saying that our efforts for democratization and rapid economic development can bear fruit only and only if there is sustainable peace, both internally and externally. Regarding peace within the country, the government has expressed its willingness to talk with organizations that have functioned illegally, so far, but have expressed their desire to pursue their goals in a peaceful and legal manner. It is known that in the aftermath of the third national elections, those who disputed the results have been engaged not in addressing their complaints through the provisions of the Constitution but through conspiracy and violence and the government has so far relentlessly tried to solve these problems through dialogue and discussions applying great patience.

As the government has the right and the duty to see to it that peace prevails and law and order are respected, it will not allow those who follow the path that wavers between the legal and illegal means of struggle to continue doing so. It goes without saying that the government will have to, sooner or later, make the necessary decision and take appropriate steps as the current state of affairs will have dire consequences on the overall well-being of our country.

 

Regarding external peace, it is known that we have established excellent relations with the neighbouring countries which will continue unabated in the future. The government has also been working towards solving our dispute with Eritrea in a peaceful and constructive manner. Based on this principle, it has offered the five point peace proposal and will continue with this effort in the future.


Honourable members of the two Houses of Parliament,

 

Dear Compatriots,

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

As I tried to point out earlier, the 3rd term of the House of Peoplesí Representatives and the House of Federation begins today and the focus of both houses will yet again be Peace, democratization and rapid economic development. The entire peoples of our country are confident that you will work day and night to ensure that the process of democratization will proceed based on solid foundations, that rapid economic development is ensured and that peace prevails sustainably. The House of Peoplesí Representatives is expected to promulgate laws that would ensure that these great tasks are executed ably. The House of Federation is also expected to address regional budgetary issues based on justice and with impeccable clarity according to the powers bestowed on it by our Constitution. I am confident that both Houses will perform their duties with great commitment and excellence.

 

In conclusion, I would like to note that the chapter of the 3rd national elections has been concluded and those who were elected representing all the contending parties as well as the independent candidates who won in these elections are duty bound to take their seats and serve the people who have entrusted them with this great responsibility. Confident that all the elected representatives at all levels will defend the peoplesí inalienable rights and interests, I declare the third term of the House of Peoplesí Representatives and the House of Federation open. I wish you a very successful and productive term.

 

Thank you.