WHEREAS Ethiopia is an age old nation with a history that goes to the antiquities; and its people have lived through various millennia;
CONCERNED by the replacement of the military dictatorship with a minority based ethno fascist regime in 1991, and dashing the hopes and aspirations of the people of Ethiopia;
NOTING that the destiny of the people of Ethiopia is intertwined; and fragmented struggle against the dictatorship has not brought the desired change during the last 25 years;
NOTING that the change of the political leadership in Ethiopia through an electoral process has been proven to be impossible;
COGNIZANT of the successes and failures of the previous efforts of forming a United Front, and having taken lessons from those efforts;
DEEPLY CONCERNED by the atrocities that are committed by the TPLF dominated army on the people of Ethiopia; more particularly in the Oromo, Amhara, Gambela and Ogden regions;
CONCERNED by the impunity and unaccountability of the TPLF regime;
CONGNIZANT of the fact that the instability in the Horn of Africa region can easily spillover to Ethiopia and the various combatants inside Ethiopia need to be integrated into one potent force to prevent unintended rivalries;
We the signatories of this document, PG7 and ODF, have formed a coalition/alliance/UF on this day, dd/mm/2016.
The coalition/alliance/UF is named ……………….
We, the undersigned organizations, that have formed this UF/Coalition/Alliance [delete as appropriate], will end the cycle of dictatorship in Ethiopia by assuring justice, freedom, equality, and prosperity in the country. We will build a collaborative relationship and trust among the people of Ethiopia and empower them to achieve their full potential. We will create a democratic society where the people are the only source of political power.
The mission of the coalition …. of Ethiopia is to lead the struggle for democracy, peace, unity, freedom, and prosperity of all Ethiopians; defend and protect the unity of all people who live in the territories of Ethiopia; and work for the stability of Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa, Africa, and beyond. We will ensure peace and security throughout Ethiopia, and defend the country from any external aggression. We will establish a broad based Government of National Unity/Salvation [delete as appropriate] during the period of transition, and prepare the country for a governance system that is based on the principles of separations of powers. We will assure that a government can only be formed through an unfettered free and fair election after a transition period of two years.
IV. SHARED VALUES
We will guarantee the implementation and respect of all human and democratic rights and civil liberties in Ethiopia such that:
- all Ethiopians are equal in front of the law and no one is above the law;
- every Ethiopian has equal political right based on the ‘one person one vote’ principle;
- all Ethiopians shall enjoy equal civil liberties in all its expressions as individuals and group;
- all political organizations that are signatories to the visions and missions included in here and consider themselves part and parcel of the same political community will enjoy equal rights;
- traditional leaders, religious leaders, elders, women and the youth are accorded their honors and place in society;
- no one culture or heritage has supremacy over another; and
- the coalition shall observe the Banjul and UN declarations on human and peoples’ rights.
- To create a political consensus amongst all Ethiopian political organizations and civic societies committed to ending dictatorship and forming a democratic government that guarantees justice, freedom, and equality in Ethiopia.
- To unite all Ethiopian political organizations and civic societies and muster their resources to wage a genuine struggle to replace the ethnic dictatorship of the current regime of the TPLF.
- To set up a Transitional Government of National Unity/Salvation (delete as appropriate) that is composed of the representatives of the political organizations who share the visions enshrined in this document and other appropriate representatives of the Ethiopian society
- To set up a constitutional commission composed of experts in the discipline and representatives of all political parties and civil societies and prepare the way for adoption of the draft constitution through open and public discourse and a nation- wide referendum.
- Conduct a country wide credible free and fair election to setup a government that represents the wishes of Ethiopians within two years.
- STRUCTURE OF THE COALITION
The coalition shall have three main bodies; namely, Council of Representatives, Executive Committee, and Consultative Council. The formula for the representations in the structures can take cognizance of the membership number, financial and other material strength, security, and combat capacity.
- Council of Representatives of political organizations
- Members of the Council of Representatives are the representatives of each member organization of the Coalition. Representation and voting rights in the Council of Representatives are determined by a formula that takes into account the strength of each organization and is agreed upon by the founding members.
- The total number of Seats will be determined by negotiation. The founding organizations might wish to determine the size by taking into account the elements of the formulae. The seats might be expanded as new members are added. New members unless with significant size and resources, shall not occupy more seats than the founding member organizations combined.
- The Council of Representatives is the highest governing body of the Coalition; it appoints all members of the Executive Committee (EC), Audit and Inspection Committee, and Conflict Resolution and Discipline Committee; and approves the respective by-laws of the committees.
- Political organizations may form alliances and merged entities in order to position themselves better for the allocation of seats in the Council. However, opportunistic alliances shall be discouraged.
- All the members of the Executive Committee of the coalition are ex-officio members of the Council of Representatives. They have no voting power. Any member of the EC shall not be the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Council of Representatives. The Chairperson and the Vice chairperson of the Council of Representatives shall not be members of the Executive Committee. The chairperson of the Council of Representatives is the representative and spokesperson of the Council of Representatives.
- The Council of Representatives shall work towards integration of the scattered energies of the Coalition member organizations. Member organizations with armed wings, will prudently and systematically integrate their combat forces so that the removal of the dictatorship is fast tracked and the combatants are integrated into the national army.
- The Council of Representatives, as the governing body, shall ensure that the EC is functioning well. It receives, comments, and approves the quarterly reports from the EC.
- The Council of Representatives appoints and removes in part or the entire EC members on grounds of underperformance or insubordination or other misconducts deemed serious by the Conflict Resolution and Discipline Committee.
- The Council of Representatives approves the planning, acquisition and disbursement of the budget of the Coalition as presented by the EC.
- The Council of Representatives approves membership of new organizations when presented by the EC with sufficient support and documentation.
- Executive Committee (EC)
- The EC is appointed by the Council of Representatives every XX years. The number of the EC members shall not exceed one third of the members of the Council of Representatives.
- The EC shall plan, organize, control and execute actions that benefits the Coalition and Ethiopia within the bound of the general policy directives handed to it by the Council of Representatives. It has the power and the responsibility to mobilize the resources (human, material, financial) that are necessary to accelerate change in Ethiopia.
- It shall attempt to combine the financial and human resource of the constituent organizations so that political change can come to Ethiopia faster.
- Where member organizations have armed and clandestine units, it shall gradually work for the integration of the combat and clandestine forces so that the forces will be integrated in to the national army in the period of transition.
- The EC shall set up different committees, departments, and taskforces such as political, security, economic, justice, foreign affairs, public relations, finance, and research to facilitate and advance the aims and objectives of the Coalition.
- The EC shall conduct a regular meeting once a month, and reports to the Council of Representatives quarterly.
- The term of office of the EC members is two 4 years. Every two years, the Council of Representatives shall review the performance of the EC, and in the event of bad performance, shall consider terminating the services of one or more of the members of the EC.
- The EC has the power to enter into contracts on behalf of itself and its member organizations. However, it has no powers to negotiate with third parties on matters that affect the territorial integrity and the borders of Ethiopia; and it can not re-draw the internal map of Ethiopia.
- The EC shall have a Chairperson that can serve for four years two terms; that is total 8 years. The Chairperson shall be elected by the Council of Representatives from among the representatives/delegates of member organizations.
- The Chairperson, along with the Vice Chair, Secretary General, Finance and Treasury, security and defense, foreign affairs and home affairs portfolios, will make up the Standing Committee of the EC. The Chairperson is the Chief Executive Officer and spokesperson of the EC. The size and shape of the portfolio might be changed by the Council of Representatives. The EC is empowered to enter into contracts up to $$$ (a limit to be defined). It can hire or fire, in accordance with the law, the employees of the Coalition.
- The Chairperson of the Executive Committee is responsible for preparation and implementations of systems and process that enable the Coalition to achieve its goals. He/she is a co-signatory on contracts and checks of the Coalition. For amounts exceeding $$$, the Chairperson of the Council will be a co-signatory. He/she can delegate authority and responsibility in accordance with latest best practice.
- Consultative Council (CC):
- The Coalition will have a broad based Consultative Council composed of known and respected traditional and religious leaders, professionals, scientists, men and women of the arts, members of associations of different social groups such as trade, women and youth, Diaspora organizations, etc.
- The members of the CC, individual or delegate of a bona-fide organization, must be unequivocally committed to the missions and objectives of the Coalition and are not suspects of human rights violations and/or ordinary criminal offenses.
- The primary purpose of the CC is to support the vision, mission and strategy of the Coalition. For this, it can advise the Council of Representatives an of the Coalition on important issues concerning the general directions and strategies of the Coalition, and will play a role of mediation in any event of conflicts and internal crises of the. It shall engage in the mobilization of resources to support the functions of the Coalition. It shall engage in dissemination of information, lobbying activities, and combat the disinformation of TPLF.
- Although the Consultative Council has neither a legislative power nor controlling role over the activities of the Executive Committee or the Council of Representatives, it will periodically receive a formal report from the Chairperson of the Council of Representatives.
- The General Assembly of the Consultative Council shall be chaired by the Chairperson of the Council of the Representatives.
- The General Assembly will try to reach decisions by consensus. In the event of a vote, the Council of Representatives shall take note of the direction of the vote in its deliberations but the vote is non-binding for the Council of Representatives.
- Any Ethiopian political organization or a previously existing coalition of political organizations, with credible and identifiable track record and is willing to accept the vision, mission, shared values, objectives, and stipulated rules and regulations of the Coalition can be a member of the Coalition. Weaker organizations that have potential can be admitted provisionally. Membership can be graded as full, half membership or quarter membership rights. Voting powers and benefits are proportionally scaled down to reflect the grade of the membership.
- Member organizations shall periodically contribute money and other resources to defray the costs of running the Coalition. Interest will be charged to membership dues that are paid in arrears.
- The details of admission conditions during the period of the struggle, needs to be defined. The founding parties must agree on the admission of a given organization and a founding organization may elect to have veto powers on admission of a new organization.
- Withdrawal from the Coalition at the height of the struggle can have grave consequences, and hence, withdrawal must be only allowed either at the point of entry or at the end of the mission of the Coalition, that is after the administration of an unfettered free and fair election.
- The grounds for split or withdrawal from the Coalition, at initial stage or after the election, shall be defined. The assets, debts, pending legal cases against the Coalition and other matters such as information shall be shared upon the dissolution or withdrawal of a member. The matter shall be handled by ordinary law of contract. All other internal conflicts shall be handled within the Coalition. In the event an outside body is to mediate, the Council of Representatives must endorse the mediating party and provide the terms of reference in writing.
- The Coalition may encourage member organizations with similar political program to agree on phased merger. Merger is defined as a complete marriage between two or more organizations. The merger of organizations shall have no impact on the number of seats allocated to them at the stage of the formation of the United Front. In phase one of the formation of the Coalition, special effort must be made to create a working environment at the lowest cell or support group, and members at the lowest level must learn how to work together towards the same goal of the Coalition.
- Rights and duties, and financial, human and material resource obligations of each member organization shall be stipulated by Council of Representatives. However, any member organization shall not conduct or participate in any political activity in contravention of the vision, mission, objectives, and shared values of the Coalition.
- The current leadership of the founding member organizations will have periodic strategic planning workshops.
- The Audit and Inspection department of the Coalition shall periodically provide a report to the Council of Representatives whether member organizations are complying with the decisions of the Coalition.
- Member organizations agree to avail all the necessary information to the Coalition.
- The audited annual financial statements of the Coalition shall be presented to the Council of Representatives.
- CONFLICT RESOLUTION
- The modalities for conflict resolution between personalities and institutional matters of principles/procedures shall be handled by a Conflict Resolution and Disciplinary Committee that will be established by the Council of Representatives.
- There shall be a code of conduct of the Coalition. The code of conduct shall not be used to suppress innovations, new ideas or dissent.
- Organizations that enter into this agreement are primarily responsible for handling the disciplinary related matters of their members. The organization, whose member has been found to be a problem to the Coalition, will be required to replace the identified individual by another person. Local conflicts shall be handled by the next level of the structure. The decision of the second level structure shall be final and binding. In the event that the conflict is within the Council of Representatives and EC, the Conflict Resolution and Discipline Committee, in consultation with the Chairperson of the Council of Representatives shall seek the help of the CC.
- THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD
- The TPLF authored constitution shall be suspended. The Ethiopian Defense Forces and the Police Force shall continue to serve the nation. Armed combatants will be gradually and systematically integrated into the national army.
- All political party owned businesses will be forensically audited and put under one administration.
- Assets embezzled from the people of Ethiopia and kept in foreign destinations will be investigated.
- Genocide, crimes against humanity, and ordinary human rights abuses will be investigated.
- The term of office of the Transitional Government of National Unity or Salvation shall not last longer than two years;
- The Ethiopian people have the unrestricted rights to individually or collectively assemble, organize, manifest, and discuss on any issue of national concerns peacefully;
- The right to assembly, organize, manifest shall not be suppressed under any circumstances, and no permission, whatsoever, shall be required to assemble or organize peaceful protest demonstration;
- All political organizations have full rights to peacefully organize and campaign for their programs;
- The Transitional Government, whose structural makeup shall be determined by the agreement of the participants, shall be limited to performing the functions of a government in areas of national security, public and social services, and providing assistance to all activities relating to the preparation for fair and free election;
- The Transitional Government has no right to make any decision or enter into bilateral or multilateral agreements with foreign governments that will have long term impact on matters of national sovereignty;
- The Transitional Government, as much as possible, will honor all international agreements that Ethiopia has entered into. It shall safeguard the interests of all the people who live in it. This includes foreigners, residents and refugees.
- The Transitional Government will start reforming the Ethiopian National Defense Forces to make the army’s top brass is representative of the people of Ethiopia; a democratic entity that serves the constitution and the will of the people; free from corruption; promotion and honor is based on merit, and make the national army combat ready.