Following the draft proclamation that articulates the special benefit the Oromia Regional State can get from Addis Ababa, presented to the House of People’s Representatives in the middle of this week, the reaction has been mixed towards the draft proclamation with political parties leaning more to skepticism.

At least two of the major opposition political parties in Ethiopia, Blue Party and the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum (Medrek), are highly skeptical about the implementation of the draft proclamation and regard it as more of a political statement than addressing the fundamental cause of the problem.

In this regard, Gebru Gebremariam, head of public relation for Medrek, told The Reporter that “since we have not seen the details of the draft proclamation, it is very difficult and way too early to comment on the content of the proclamation article by article.” 

However, Gebru stated: “It is a good move to address the question of the Oromo people even if it was after 26 years of delay.”

“The proclamation is not a result of the kind heart of both the ruling party, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), or the Oromo Peoples Democratic Organization (OPDO); it is rather the outcome of the relentless struggle of the Oromo people in general and the youth of Oromia in particularly,” Gebru said.

“Though the proclamation is a commendable move, I am not that much comfortable with the proclamation as a politician; and I rather think it is a time buying tool for the ruling party,” Gebru said.

By the same token, president of Blue, Yeshiwas Assefa, told The Reporter that his party didn’t receive the details of the draft proclamation; however, he said: “The decision over the special benefit of the Oromia Regional State makes things more complicated than what they are now and that it is far from providing practical solutions.”

“Without fulfilling the basic interests of every single citizen, talking about special benefit of a certain region is meaningless. This is the usual perplexing decision taken by the ruling party. It is meaningless and a political mischief,” Yeshiwas said.

According to Article 49 and Sub Article 5 of the Constitution, Oromia is entitled to a special interest from the Addis Ababa City Administration. The proposed draft proclamation incorporates social service provision, natural resource utilization and environmental protection.

The proclamation also includes ways to deal with administrative affairs that concerns both the Oromia Regional State and the Addis Ababa City Administration. According to the draft proclamation, the name Finfine will be used equally with the name Addis Ababa, and Afan Oromo (Oromo Language) will be the working language of the city administration along with Amharic.