The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ፌዴራላዊ ዴሞክራሲያዊ ሪፐብሊክ ሕገ መንግሥት, romanized: Ye-Ītyōṗṗyā Fēdēralawī Dēmokirasīyawī Rīpebilīk Ḥige Menigišit), also known as the 1995 Constitution of Ethiopia, is the supreme law of Ethiopia. The constitution came into force on 21 August 1995 after it was drawn up by the Constituent Assembly that was elected in June 1994. It was adopted by the Transitional Government of Ethiopia in December 1994 and came into force following the general election held in May–June 1995.
The constitution consists of 106 articles in 11 chapters. Articles I-VII contains general provisions on matters of nomenclature of state, territorial jurisdiction, and the Ethiopian flag; Articles VIII-XII describe sovereignty, the supremacy of the constitution, democratic rights, separation of state and religion, and accountability of the government. It provides for a federal government of nine ethnically based regions governed by a parliament divided into the House of Peoples' Representatives and the House of Federation. It provides for a parliamentary system, with a mostly ceremonial president as head of state, and executive power vested in a Council of Ministers headed by a prime minister.
The constitution expressly provides for a set of basic human rights; Article 13 specifies that these rights and freedoms will be interpreted according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and other international instruments adopted by Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has a tradition of highly personal and strongly centralized government, a pattern the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (the former ruling government colation) had followed despite constitutional limits on federal power.
The first general election held after the adoption of the constitution was the 2000 election.
- Country profile: Ethiopia. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (April 2005). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- "FAOLEX Database, Ethiopia (National level), Constitution of Ethiopia". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.