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The right of minorities to political participation under the Ethiopian electoral system

Beza Dessalegn


Broad representation of different ethnic groups has implications in stability and the quality of democracy. The right to political participation is largely realized through the electoral system of a country. The choice among electoral systems should thus take various factors into account including the need for securing equitable representation, including minority groups. It is argued that the 'first ’ system embodied in Ethiopia’s electoral law denies national and regional minorities equitable and adequate share of political power in the respective federal and regional councils. Hence, taking into consideration Ethiopia’s long history of competing ethnic nationalisms and lack of consensus, there is the need for securing adequate representation proportional to the numerical presence of minorities in constituencies in lieu of stubborn adherence solely to the majoritarian plurality system.

Keywords: Political participation, minorities, electoral law, electoral systems, ethnic groups, equitable representation, Ethiopia

MIZAN LAW REVIEW Vol. 7 No.1, September 2013

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eISSN: 2309-902X
print ISSN: 1998-9881