Ethiopia’s parliament approves lifting of state of emergency
Ethiopia’s House of People’s Representatives voted to approve the immediate lifting of a state of emergency imposed six months ago, according to a report by state-owned Fana Broadcasting.
The vote occurred after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had recalled the lawmakers for an emergency session on Tuesday to debate and decide on whether to lift the state of emergency.
312 Members of Parliament attended the session and voted with 63 opposing the lifting the state of emergency, while 21 abstained.
The chief government whip, Tesfaye Beljige. told legislators the state of emergency was “causing more damage that its benefits”, saying the law was hampering tourism and economic activities.
On the other hand, Desalegn Chanie of the opposition National Movement of Amhara party argued that lifting the state of emergency to “please the diplomatic community” without ensuring the safety of citizens was untimely.
The state of emergency, which gave the government the authority to detain citizens without charge and search homes without a warrant, had been imposed on November 2 after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) had threatened to march on the capital Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers had previously decided to remove the state of emergency before its expiry on January 26 and sent a proposal to parliament for approval.
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