CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA
We, the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia:
Strongly committed, in full and free exercise of our right to self-determination, to
building a political community founded on the rule of law and capable of ensuring a
lasting peace, guaranteeing a democratic order, and advancing our economic and
Firmly convinced that the fulfillment of this objective requires full respect of
individual and people’s fundamental freedoms and rights, to live together on the basis
of equality and without any sexual, religious or cultural discrimination;
Further convinced that by continuing to live with our rich and proud cultural legacies
in territories we have long inhabited, have, through continuous interaction on various
levels and forms of life, built up common interest and have also contributed to the
emergence of a common outlook;
Fully cognizant that our common destiny can best be served by rectifying historically
unjust relationships and by further promoting our shared interests;
Convinced that to live as one economic community is necessary in order to create
sustainable and mutually supportive conditions for ensuring respect for our rights and
freedoms and for the collective promotion of our interests;
Determined to consolidate, as a lasting legacy, the peace and the prospect of a
democratic order which our struggles and sacrifices have brought about;
Have therefore adopted, on 8 December 1994 this constitution through representatives
we have duly elected for this purpose as an instrument that binds us in a mutual
commitment to fulfil the objectives and the principles set forth above.
Nomenclature of the State
This Constitution establishes a Federal and Democratic State structure. Accordingly,
the Ethiopian state shall be known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
Ethiopian Territorial Jurisdiction
The territorial jurisdiction of Ethiopia shall comprise the territory of the members of
the Federation and its boundaries shall be as determined by international agreements.
The Ethiopian Flag
The Ethiopian flag shall consist of green at the top, yellow in the middle and
red at the bottom, and shall have a national emblem at the center. The three
colors shall be set horizontally in equal dimension.
The national emblem on the flag shall reflect the hope of the Nations,
Nationalities, Peoples as well as religious communities of Ethiopia to live
together in equality and unity.
Members of the Federation may have their respective flags and emblems and
shall determine the details thereof through their respective legislatures.
National Anthem of Ethiopia
The national anthem of Ethiopia, to be determined by law, shall reflect the ideals of
the Constitution, the Commitment of the Peoples of Ethiopia to live together in a
democratic order and of their common destiny.
All Ethiopian languages shall enjoy equal state recognition.
Amharic shall be the working language of the Federal Government.
Members of the Federation may by law determine their respective working
Any person of either sex shall be an Ethiopian national where both or either
parent is Ethiopian.
Foreign nationals may acquire Ethiopian nationality.
Particulars relating to nationality shall be determined by law.
Provisions of this Constitution set out in the masculine gender shall also apply to the
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF THE CONSTITUTION
Sovereignty of the people
All sovereign power resides in the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of
This Constitution is an expression of their sovereignty.
Their sovereignty shall be expressed through their representatives elected in
accordance with this Constitution and through their direct democratic
Supremacy of the Constitution
The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Any law, customary practice
or a decision of an organ of state or a public official which contravenes this
Constitution shall be of no effect.
All citizens, organs of state, political organizations, other associations as well
as their officials have the duty to ensure observance of the Constitution and to
It is prohibited to assume state power in any manner other than that provided
under the Constitution.
All international agreements ratified by Ethiopia are an integral part of the law
of the land.
Human and Democratic Rights
Human rights and freedoms, emanating from the nature of mankind, are
inviolable and inalienable.
Human and democratic rights of citizens and peoples shall be respected.
Separation of State and Religion
State and religion are separate.
There shall be no state religion.
The state shall not interfere in religious matters and religion shall not interfere
in state affairs.
Conduct and Accountability of Government
The conduct of affairs of government shall be transparent.
Any public official or an elected representative is accountable for any failure
in official duties.
In case of loss of confidence, the people may recall an elected representative.
The particulars of recall shall be determined by law.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
Scope of Application and Interpretation
All Federal and State legislative, executive and judicial organs at all levels
shall have the responsibility and duty to respect and enforce the provisions of
The fundamental rights and freedoms specified in this Chapter shall be
interpreted in a manner conforming to the principles of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenants on Human Rights and
International instruments adopted by Ethiopia.
Rights to life, the Security of Person and Liberty
Every person has the inviolable and inalienable right to life the security of person and
Right to Life
Every person has the right to life. No person may be deprived of his life except as a
punishment for a serious criminal offence determined by law.
The Right of the Security of Person
Every one has the right to protection against bodily harm.
Right to Liberty
No one shall be deprived of his or her liberty except on such grounds and in
accordance with such procedure as are established by law.
No person may be subjected to arbitrary arrest, and no person may be detained
without a charge or conviction against him.
Prohibition against Inhuman Treatment
Everyone has the right to protection against cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude. Trafficking in human beings for
whatever purpose is prohibited.
No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
For the purpose of sub-Article 3 of this Article the phrase "forced or
compulsory labour" shall not include:
Any work or service normally required of a person who is under detention
in consequence of a lawful order, or of a person during conditional release
from such detention;
In the case of conscientious objectors, any service exacted in
compulsory military service;
Any service exacted in cases of emergency or calamity threatening the life
or well-being of the community;
Any economic and social development activity voluntarily performed by a
community within its locality.
Right of Persons Arrested
Persons arrested have the right to be informed promptly, in a language they
understand, of the reasons for their arrest and of any charge against them.
Persons arrested have the right to remain silent. Upon arrest, they have the
right to be informed promptly, in a language they understand, that any
statement they make may be used as evidence against them in court.
Persons arrested have the right to be brought before a court within 48 hours of
their arrest. Such time shall not include the time reasonably required for the
journey from the place of arrest to the court. On appearing before a court, they
have the right to be given prompt and specific explanation of the reasons for
their arrest due to the alleged crime committed.
All persons have an inalienable right to petition the court to order their
physical release where the arresting police officer or the law enforcer fails to
bring them before a court within the prescribed time and to provide reasons for
their arrest. Where the interest of justice requires, the court may order the
arrested person to remain in custody or, when requested remand him for a time
strictly required to carry out the necessary investigation. In determining the
additional time necessary for investigation, the court shall ensure that the
responsible law enforcement authorities carry out the investigation respecting
the arrested person’s right to a speedy trial.
Persons arrested shall not be compelled to make confessions or admissions
which could be used in evidence against them. Any evidence obtained under
coercion shall not be admissible.
Persons arrested have the right to be released on bail. In exceptional
circumstances prescribed by law, the court may deny bail or demand adequate
guarantee for the conditional release of the arrested person.
Rights of Persons Accused
Accused persons have the right to a public trial by an ordinary court of law
within a reasonable time after having been charged. The court may hear cases
in a closed session only with a view to protecting the right to privacy of the
parties concerned, public morals and national security.
Accused persons have the right to be informed with sufficient particulars of
the charge brought against them and to be given the charge in writing.
During proceedings accused persons have the right to be presumed innocent
until proved guilty according to law and not to be compelled to testify against
Accused persons have the right to full access to any evidence presented
against them, to examine witnesses testifying against them, to adduce or to
have evidence produced in their own defence, and to obtain the attendance of
and examination of witnesses on their behalf before the court.
Accused persons have the right to be represented by legal counsel of their
choice, and, if they do not have sufficient means to pay for it and miscarriage
of justice would result, to be provided with legal representation at state
All persons have the right of appeal to the competent court against an order or
a judgment of the court which first heard the case.
They have the right to request for the assistance of an interpreter at state
expense where the court proceedings are conducted in a language they do not
The Rights of Persons Held in Custody and Convicted Prisoners
All persons held in custody and persons imprisoned upon conviction and
sentencing have the right to treatments respecting their human dignity.
All persons shall have the opportunity to communicate with, and to be visited
by, their spouses or partners, close relatives, friends, religious councilors,
medical doctors and their legal counsel.
Non-retroactivity of Criminal Law
No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or
omission which did not constitute a criminal offence at the time when it was
committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed on any person than the one
that was applicable at the time when the criminal offence was committed.
Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-Article 1 of this Article, a law
promulgated subsequent to the commission of the offence shall apply if it is
advantageous to the accused or convicted person.
Prohibition of Double Jeopardy
No person shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offense for which he has
already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the criminal law and
Right to Honour and Reputation
Everyone has the right to respect for his human dignity, reputation and honour.
Everyone has the right to the free development of his personality in a manner
compatible with the rights of other citizens.
Everyone has the right to recognition every where as a person.
Right to Equality
All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the
equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall guarantee to all persons equal
and effective protection without discrimination on grounds of race, nation, nationality,
or other social origin, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion,
property, birth or other status.
Right to Privacy
Everyone has the right to privacy. This right shall include the right not to be
subjected to searches of his home, person or property, or the seizure of any
property under his personal possession.
Everyone has the right to the inviolability of his notes and correspondence
including postal letters, and communications made by means of telephone,
telecommunications and electronic devices.
Public officials shall respect and protect these rights. No restrictions may be
placed on the enjoyment of such rights except in compelling circumstances
and in accordance with specific laws whose purposes shall be the safeguarding
of national security or public peace, the prevention of crimes or the protection
of health, public morality or the rights and freedoms of others.
Freedom of Religion, Belief and Opinion
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This
right shall include the freedom to hold or to adopt a religion or belief of his
choice, and the freedom, either individually or in community with others, and
in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance,
practice and teaching.
Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-Article 2 of Article 90, believers
may establish institutions of religious education and administration in order to
propagate and organize their religion.
No one shall be subject to coercion or other means which would restrict or
prevent his freedom to hold a belief of his choice.
Parents and legal guardians have the right to bring up their children ensuring
their religious and moral education in conformity with their own convictions.
Freedom to express or manifest one’s religion or belief may be subject only to
such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public
safety, peace, health, education, public morality or the fundamental rights and
freedoms of others, and to ensure the independence of the state from religion.
Crimes Against Humanity
Criminal liability of persons who commit crimes against humanity, so defined
by international agreements ratified by Ethiopia and by other laws of Ethiopia,
such as genocide, summary executions, forcible disappearances or torture shall
not be barred by statute of limitation. Such offences may not be commuted by
amnesty or pardon of the legislature or any other state organ.
In the case of persons convicted of any crime stated in sub-Article 1 of this
Article and sentenced with the death penalty, the Head of State may, without
prejudice to the provisions here in above, commute the punishment to life
Right of Thought, Opinion and Expression
Everyone has the right to hold opinions without interference.
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression without any interference. This
right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas
of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the
form of art, or through any media of his choice.
Freedom of the press and other mass media and freedom of artistic creativity
is guaranteed. Freedom of the press shall specifically include the following
Prohibition of any form of censorship.
Access to information of public interest.
In the interest of the free flow of information, ideas and opinions which are
essential to the functioning of a democratic order, the press shall, as an
institution, enjoy legal protection to ensure its operational independence and
its capacity to entertain diverse opinions.
Any media financed by or under the control of the State shall be operated in a
manner ensuring its capacity to entertain diversity in the expression of
rights can be limited only through laws which are guided by the
principle that freedom of expression and information cannot be limited on
account of the content or effect of the point of view expressed. Legal
limitations can be laid down in order to protect the well-being of the youth,
and the honour and reputation of individuals. Any propaganda for war as well
as the public expression of opinion intended to injure human dignity shall be
prohibited by law.
Any citizen who violates any legal limitations on the exercise of these rights
may be held liable under the law.
The Right of Assembly, Demonstration and Petition
Everyone has the right to assemble and to demonstrate together with others
peaceably and unarmed, and to petition. Appropriate regulations may be made
in the interest of public convenience relating to the location of open-air
meetings and the route of movement of demonstrators or, for the protection of
democratic rights, public morality and peace during such a meeting or
This right does not exempt from liability under laws enacted to protect the
well-being of the youth or the honour and reputation of individuals, and laws
prohibiting any propaganda for war and any public expression of opinions
intended to injure human dignity.
Freedom of Association
Every person has the right to freedom of association for any cause or purpose.
Organizations formed, in violation of appropriate laws, or to illegally subvert the
constitutional order, or which promote such activities are prohibited.
Freedom of Movement
Any Ethiopian or foreign national lawfully in Ethiopia has, within the national
territory, the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence,
as well as the freedom to leave the country at any time he wishes to.
Any Ethiopian national has the right to return to his country.
Rights of Nationality
No Ethiopian national shall be deprived of his or her Ethiopian nationality
against his or her will. Marriage of an Ethiopian national of either sex to a
foreign national shall not annul his or her Ethiopian nationality.
Every Ethiopian national has the right to the enjoyment of all rights, protection
and benefits derived from Ethiopian nationality as prescribed by law.
Any national has the right to change his Ethiopian nationality.
Ethiopian nationality may be conferred upon foreigners in accordance with
law enacted and procedures established consistent with international
agreements ratified by Ethiopia.
Marital, Personal and Family Rights
Men and women, without any distinction as to race, nation, nationality or
religion, who have attained marriageable age as defined by law, have the right
to marry and found a family. They have equal rights while entering into,
during marriage and at the time of divorce. Laws shall be enacted to ensure the
protection of rights and interests of children at the time of divorce.
Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the
The family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and is entitled to
protection by society and the State.
In accordance with provisions to be specified by law, a law giving recognition
to marriage concluded under systems of religious or customary laws may be
This Constitution shall not preclude the adjudication of disputes relating to
personal and family laws in accordance with religious or customary laws, with
the consent of the parties to the dispute. Particulars shall be determined by
Rights of Women
Women shall , in the enjoyment of rights and protections provided for by this
Constitution, have equal right with men.
Women have equal rights with men in marriage as prescribed by this
The historical legacy of inequality and discrimination suffered by women in
Ethiopia taken into account, women, in order to remedy this legacy, are
entitled to affirmative measures. The purpose of such measures shall be to
provide special attention to women so as to enable them to compete and
participate on the basis of equality with men in political, social and economic
life as well as in public and private institutions.
The State shall enforce the right of women to eliminate the influences of
harmful customs. Laws, customs and practices that oppress or cause bodily or
mental harm to women are prohibited.
(a) Women have the right to maternity leave with full pay. The duration of
maternity leave shall be determined by law taking into account the nature of
the work, the health of the mother and the well-being of the child and family.
Maternity leave may, in accordance with the provisions of law, include
prenatal leave with full pay.
Women have the right to full consultation in the formulation of national
development policies, the designing and execution of projects, and particularly
in the case of projects affecting the interests of women.
Women have the right to acquire, administer, control, use and transfer
property. In particular, they have equal rights with men with respect to use,
transfer, administration and control of land. They shall also enjoy equal
treatment in the inheritance of property.
Women shall have a right to equality in employment, promotion, pay, and the
transfer of pension entitlements.
To prevent harm arising from pregnancy and childbirth and in order to
safeguard their health, women have the right of access to family planning
education, information and capacity.
Rights of Children
Every child has the right:
To a name and nationality;
To know and be cared for by his or her parents or legal guardians;
Not to be subject to exploitative practices, neither to be required nor
permitted to perform work which may be hazardous or harmful to his or
her education, health or well-being;
To be free of corporal punishment or cruel and inhumane treatment in
schools and other institutions responble for the care of children.
In all actions concerning children undertaken by public and private welfare
institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the
primary consideration shall be the best interest of the child.
Juvenile offenders admitted to corrective or rehabilitative institutions, and
juveniles who become wards of the State or who are placed in public or
private orphanages, shall be kept separately from adults.
Children born out of wedlock shall have the same rights as children born of
The State shall accord special protection to orphans and shall encourage the
establishment of institutions which ensure and promote their adoption and
advance their welfare, and education.
Right of Access to Justice
Everyone has the right to bring a justiciable matter to, and to obtain a decision
or judgment by, a court of law or any other competent body with judicial
The decision or judgment referred to under sub-Article 1 of this Article may
also be sought by:
Any association representing the Collective or individual interest of its
Any group or person who is a member of, or represents a group with
The Right to Vote and to be Elected
Every Ethiopian national, without any discrimination based on colour, race,
nation, nationality, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion or other
status, has the following rights:
To take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly and through freely
On the attainment of 18 years of age, to vote in accordance with law;
To vote and to be elected at periodic elections to any office at any level of
government; elections shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be
held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the
The right of everyone to be a member of his own will in a political
organization, labour union, trade organization, or employers’ or professional
association shall be respected if he or she meets the special and general
requirements stipulated by such organization.
Elections to positions of responsibility with any of the organizations referred
to under sub-Article 2 of this Article shall be conducted in a free and
The provisions of sub-Articles 2 and 3 of this Article shall apply to civic
organizations which significantly affect the public interest.
Rights of Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples
Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has an unconditional right to
self-determination, including the right to secession.
Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has the right to speak, to
write and to develop its own language; to express, to develop and to promote
its culture; and to preserve its history.
Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has the right to a full
measure of self-government which includes the right to establish institutions
of government in the territory that it inhabits and to equitable representation in
state and Federal governments.
The right to self-determination, including secession, of every Nation,
Nationality and People shall come into effect:
When a demand for secession has been approved by a two-thirds majority
of the members of the Legislative Council of the Nation, Nationality or People
When the Federal Government has organized a referendum which must
take place within three years from the time it received the concerned council’s
decision for secession;
When the demand for secession is supported by majority vote in the
When the Federal Government will have transferred its powers to the
council of the Nation, Nationality or People who has voted to secede; and
When the division of assets is effected in a manner prescribed by law.
A "Nation, Nationality or People" for the purpose of this Constitution , is a
group of people who have or share large measure of a common culture or
similar customs, mutual intelligibility of language, belief in a common or
related identities, a common psychological make-up, and who inhabit an
identifiable, predominantly contiguous territory.
The Right to Property
Every Ethiopian citizen has the right to the ownership of private property.
Unless prescribed otherwise by law on account of public interest, this right
shall include the right to acquire, to use and, in a manner compatible with the
rights of other citizens, to dispose of such property by sale or bequest or to
transfer it otherwise.
"Private property", for the purpose of this Article, shall mean any tangible or
intangible product which has value and is produced by the labour, creativity,
enterprise or capital of an individual citizen, associations which enjoy juridical
personality under the law, or in appropriate circumstances, by communities
specifically empowered by law to own property in common.
The right to ownership of rural and urban land, as well as of all natural
resources, is exclusively vested in the State and in the peoples of Ethiopia.
Land is a common property of the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of
Ethiopia and shall not be subject to sale or to other means of exchange.
Ethiopian peasants have right to obtain land without payment and the
protection against eviction from their possession. The implementation of this
provision shall be specified by law.
Ethiopian pastoralists have the right to free land for grazing and cultivation as
well as the right not to be displaced from their own lands. The implementation
shall be specified by law.
Without prejudice to the right of Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples
to the ownership of land, government shall ensure the right of private investors
to the use of land on the basis of payment arrangements established by law.
Particulars shall be determined by law.
Every Ethiopian shall have the full right to the immovable property he builds
and to the permanent improvements he brings about on the land by his labour
or capital. This right shall include the right to alienate, to bequeath, and, where
the right of use expires, to remove his property, transfer his title, or claim
compensation for it. Particulars shall be determined by law.
Without prejudice to the right to private property, the government may
expropriate private property for public purposes subject to payment in advance
of compensation commensurate to the value of the property.
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Every Ethiopian has the right to engage freely in economic activity and to
pursue a livelihood of his choice anywhere within the national territory.
Every Ethiopian has the right to choose his or her means of livelihood,
occupation and profession.
Every Ethiopian national has the right to equal access to publicly funded social
The State has the obligation to allocate an ever increasing resources to provide
to the public health, education and other social services.
The State shall, within available means, allocate resources to provide
rehabilitation and assistance to the physically and mentally disabled, the aged ,
and to children who are left without parents or guardian.
The State shall pursue policies which aim to expand job opportunities for the
unemployed and the poor and shall accordingly undertake programmes and
public works projects.
The State shall undertake all measures necessary to increase opportunities for
citizens to find gainful employment.
Ethiopian farmers and pastoralists have the right to receive fair price for their
products, that would lead to improvement in their conditions of life and to
enable them to obtain an equitable share of the national wealth commensurate
with their contribution. This objective shall guide the State in the formulation
of economic, social and development policies.
The State has the responsibility to protect and preserve historical and cultural
legacies, and to contribute to the promotion of the arts and sports.
Rights of Labour
(a) Factory and service workers, farmers, farm labourers, other rural workers
and government employees whose work compatibility allows for it and who
are below a certain level of responsibility, have the right to form associations
to improve their conditions of employment and economic well-being. This
right includes the right to form trade unions and other associations to bargain
collectively with employers or other organizations that affect their interests.(b)
Categories of persons referred to in paragraph (c) of this sub-Article has the
right to express grievances, including the right to strike.(c) Government
employees who enjoy the rights provided under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this
sub - Article shall be determined by law.
Women workers have the right to equal pay for equal work.
Workers have the right to reasonable limitation of working hours, to rest, to
leisure, to periodic leaves with pay, to remuneration for public holidays as
well as healthy and safe work environment.
Without prejudice to the rights recognized under sub - Article 1 of this Article,
laws enacted for the implementation of such rights shall establish procedures
for the formation of trade unions and for the regulation of the collective
The Right to Development
The Peoples of Ethiopia as a whole, and each Nation, Nationality and People
in Ethiopia in particular have the right to improved living standards and to
Nationals have the right to participate in national development and, in
particular, to be consulted with respect to policies and projects affecting their
All international agreements and relations concluded, established or conducted
by the State shall protect and ensure Ethiopia’s right to sustainable
The basic aim of development activities shall be to enhance the capacity of
citizens for development and to meet their basic needs.
All persons have the right to a clean and healthy environment.
All persons who have been displaced or whose livelihoods have been
adversely affected as a result of State programmes have the right to
commensurate monetary or alternative means of compensation, including
relocation with adequate State assistance.
Form of Government
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia shall have a parliamentarian form of
States of the Federation
The Federal Democratic Republic shall comprise of States.
States shall be delimited on the basis of the settlement patterns, language,
identity and consent of the peoples concerned.
Member States of the Federal Democratic Republic
Member States of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia are the
1) The State of Tigray
2) The State of Afar
3) The State of Amhara
4) The State of Oromia
5) The State of Somalia
6) The State of Benshangul/Gumuz
7) The State of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples
8) The State of the Gambela Peoples
9) The State of the Harari People
Nations, Nationalities and Peoples within the States enumerated in sub-Article
1 of this article have the right to establish, at any time, their own States.
The right of any Nation, Nationality or People to form its own state is
exercisable under the following procedures:
When the demand for statehood has been approved by a two-thirds
majority of the members of the Council of the Nation, Nationality or
People concerned, and the demand is presented in writing to the State
Council;When the Council that received the demand has organized a
referendum within one year to be held in the Nation, Nationality or People
that made the demand;
When the demand for statehood is supported by a majority vote in the
When the State Council will have transferred its powers to the Nation,
Nationality or People that made the demand; and
When the new State created by the referendum without any need for
application, directly becomes a member of the Federal Democratic
Republic of Ethiopia.
Member States of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia shall have
equal rights and powers.
State Border Changes
All State border disputes shall be settled by agreement of the concerned States.
Where the concerned States fail to reach agreement, the House of the
Federation shall decide such disputes on the basis of settlement patterns and
the wishes of the peoples concerned.
The House of Federation shall, within a period of two years, render a final
decision on a dispute submitted to it pursuant to sub-Article 1 of this Article.
Addis Ababa shall be the capital city of the Federal State.
The residents of Addis Ababa shall have a full measure of self-government.
Particulars shall be determined by law.
The Administration of Addis Ababa shall be responsible to the Federal
Residents of Addis Ababa shall in accordance with the provisions of this
Constitution, be represented in the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
The special interest of the State of Oromia in Addis Ababa, regarding the
provision of social services or the utilization of natural resources and other
similar matters, as well as joint administrative matters arising from the
location of Addis Ababa within the State of Oromia, shall be respected.
Particulars shall be determined by law.
THE STRUCTURE AND DIVISION OF POWERS
Structure of the Organs of State
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia comprises the Federal
Government and the State members.
The Federal Government and the States shall have legislative, executive and
The House of Peoples’ Representatives is the highest authority of the Federal
Government. The House is responsible to the People. The State Council is the
highest organ of State authority. It is responsible to the People of the State.
State government shall be established at State and other administrative levels
that they find necessary. Adequate power shall be granted to the lowest units
of government to enable the People to participate directly in the administration
of such units.
The State Council has the power of legislation on matters falling under State
jurisdiction. Consistent with the provisions of this Constitution, the Council
has power to draft, adopt and amend the state constitution.
The State administration constitutes the highest organ of executive power.
State judicial power is vested in its courts.
Federal and State powers are defined by this Constitution. The States shall
respect the powers of the Federal Government. The Federal Government shall
likewise respect the powers of the States.
The Federal Government may, when necessary, delegate to the States powers
and functions granted to it by Article 51 of this Constitution.
They shall levy and collect taxes on income derived from private houses
and other properties within the State. They shall collect rent on houses and
other properties they own.
States shall levy and collect profit, sales, excise and personal income taxes
on income of enterprises owned by the States.
Consistent with the provisions sub-Article 3 of Article 98, States shall levy
and collect taxes on income derived from mining operations, and royalties
and land rentals on such operations.
They shall determine and collect fees and charges relating to licenses
issued and services rendered by State organs.
They shall fix and collect royalty for use of forest resources.
Concurrent Power of Taxation
The Federal Government and the States shall jointly levy and collect
profit, sales, excise and personal income taxes on enterprises they jointly
They shall jointly levy and collect taxes on the profits of companies and on
dividends due to shareholders.
They shall jointly levy and collect taxes on incomes derived from large-
scale mining and all petroleum and gas operations, and royalties on such
Undesignated Powers of Taxation
The House of the Federation and the House of Peoples’ Representatives shall, in a
joint session, determine by a two-thirds majority vote on the exercise of powers of
taxation which have not been specifically provided for in the Constitution.
Directives on Taxation
In exercising their taxing powers, Sates and the Federal Government shall
ensure that any tax is related to the source of revenue taxed and that it is
determined following proper considerations.
They shall ensure that the tax does not adversely affect their relationship
and that the rate and amount of taxes shall be commensurate with services
the taxes help deliver.
Neither States nor the Federal Government shall levy and collect taxes on
each other’s property unless it is a profit-making enterprise.
The Auditor General
The Auditor General shall, upon recommendations of the Prime Minister,
be appointed by the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
The Auditor General shall audit and inspect the accounts of ministries and
other agencies of the Federal Government to ensure that expenditures are
properly made for activities carried out during the fiscal year and in
accordance with the approved allocations, and submit his reports thereon
to the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
The Auditor General shall draw up and submit for approval to the House
of Peoples’ Representatives his office’s annual budget.
The details of functions of the Auditor General shall be determined by law.
There shall be established a National Election Board independent of any
influence, to conduct in an impartial manner free and fair election in
Federal and State constituencies.
Members of the Board shall be appointed by the House of Peoples’
Representatives upon recommendation of the Prime Minister. Particulars
shall be determined by law.
Population Census Commission
There shall be established a National Census Commission that shall
conduct a population census periodically.
Members of the National Census Commission shall be appointed by the
House of Peoples’ Representatives upon recommendation of the Prime
The Commission shall have a Secretary General and necessary
professional and support staff.
The annual budget of the Commission shall be submitted for approval to
the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
A national populations census shall be conducted every ten years. The
House of the Federation shall determine the boundaries of constituencies
on the basis of the census results and a proposal submitted to the House by
the National Election Board.
The Commission shall be accountable to the House of Peoples’
Representatives. It shall submit to the House periodic reports on the
conduct of its programs and activities.
Initiation of Amendments
Any proposal for constitutional amendment, if supported by two-thirds majority vote
in the House of Peoples’ Representatives, or by a two-thirds majority vote in the
House of the Federation or when one-third of the State Councils of the member States
of the Federation, by a majority vote in each Council have supported it, shall be
submitted for discussion and decision to the general public and to those whom the
amendment of the Constitution concerns.
Amendment of the Constitution
All rights and freedoms specified in Chapter Three of this Constitution, this
very Article, and Article 104 can be amended only in the following
When all State Councils, by a majority vote, approve the proposed
When the House of Peoples’ Representatives, by a two- thirds majority
vote, approves the proposed amendment; and
When the House of the Federation, by a two-thirds majority vote,
approves the proposed amendment.
All provisions of this Constitution other than those specified in subArticle 1
of this Article can be amended only in the following manner:
When the House of Peoples’ Representatives and the House of the
Federation, in a joint session, approve a proposed amendment by a
two-thirds majority vote; and
When two-thirds of the Councils of the member States of the
Federation approve the proposed amendment by majority votes.
The Version with Final Legal Authority
The Amharic version of this Constitution shall have final legal authority.
Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA