In the past three or four years Ethiopia’s ruling party was going through a crisis of its lifetime due to political unrest in Oromia, Amhara and Somali regions. Despite having a 100% control over the parliament, the ruling party was not in control of the nation. The failure in assuring control over country also resulted in a crack within the parliament that used to be 100% supportive to EPRDF agendas.
Since 2005 there has never been a time where Ethiopians got interested in the voting of the parliament. This especially comes after the voting session of the latest State of Emergency that was contested by at least 80 parliament members of the OPDO party.
The dramatic shift in the country’s politics sparked lots of interest and engagement from the public. As a result we wanted to give a closer insight to the demographics of Ethiopia parliament to give a better view of its composition in terms of gender, race, age and education background.
The House of Peoples’ Representative has 547 seats in which all of them are held by the political parties that form the ruling party EPRDF, along with ally parties to EPRDF.
The Big Four
The Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) takes the lion share with 180 seats in the parliament followed by Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) 138 seats while the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) holds 123 seats and Tigray People Liberation Front takes 38 seats. The remaining 4 allied parties (including EPRDF) take the rest 68 seats.
In his first address to the parliament, PM Abiy Ahmed highlighted the important role women play in the society by acknowledging his mother and wife. This sparked lots of excitement among several activists who are actively engaged with women related issues. Unlike previous times women were actively paying attention to the prime minister appointment of his cabinet and the gender composition within his cabinet. Currently Ethiopia has its first woman house of speaker and 37.8% (212) of the parliament members are women. Despite having a one party controlled parliament, the representation of women jumped from 2% in 1997 to 37.8% in 2017.
The current population of Ethiopia is 107,078,267 as of Tuesday, May 1, 2018, based on the latest United Nations estimates and the median age in Ethiopia is 18.8 years. Thus, it is crucial to see the age composition of the house of people representatives to see if power sharing with the younger generation is given any attention.
The youngest parliamentarians are aged 21 and they both are females from the Ethio-Somali region and the oldest parliamentarians are aged 66. 40’s is the largest age group in the parliament with 32 members.
Looking at the education level of MPs the majority of them earned their BA (237) and there are 17 MPs who have already received their PhDs. The lowest education level earned by MPs is Grade 8 education; two MPs were found with this level of education.