1995 Constitution of Ethiopia
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The current Constitution of Ethiopia, which is the supreme law of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, came into force on 21 August 1995. The constitution 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. 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. The document further guarantees that all Ethiopian languages will enjoy equal state recognition, although Amharic is specified as the working language of the federal government.
Ethiopia has a tradition of highly personal and strongly centralized government, a pattern the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (the coalition presently in government) has followed despite constitutional limits on federal power.
The first general election held after the adoption of the Constitution was the 2000 election.