A thirty-man constitutional commission was inaugurated in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Friday (29 MARCH) against the current, background of civil disorder and military unrest -- followed the next day by a peasant revolt in the south in which 15 people were reported dead, and by clashes between police and students.
GV Exterior Congerence building
SV Ethiopian Prime Minister Endalkachew Makonnen speaking to members (Amharic speech)
SV Members listening (8 shots)
SCU Makonnen speaking
SV Delegates applauding
Initials SC/1933 SC/1954
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Background: A thirty-man constitutional commission was inaugurated in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Friday (29 MARCH) against the current, background of civil disorder and military unrest -- followed the next day by a peasant revolt in the south in which 15 people were reported dead, and by clashes between police and students. One of the Commission's main tasks is to discuss making the Cabinet responsible directly to Parliament, and not to Emperor Haile Selassie as it has been for the 56 years of the 82-year-old ruler's feudal reign.
The commission is the most important of several set up by Emperor Selassie to investigate dramatic political and social reform -- forced on him by a massive, wide-spread and unprecedented challenge to his rule in the wake of the military uprising last month by officers of the militant Second Brigade in the northern city of Asmara. Since the uprising, there have been nation-wide strikes which have almost paralysed the economy, and the Emperor was forced to sack his Government -- appointing a new one under Prime Minister Endalkachew Makonnen, who inaugurated Friday's Constitutional Commission. The Commission is to review the entire 1955 constitution, with the primary objectives of Cabinet responsibility to Parliament and guarantees of further civil rights for the people.
SYNOPSIS: Addis Ababa, capital of strife-torn Ethiopia -- and the inaugural meeting of a thirty-man constitutional conference opened by the new Prime Minister Endalkachew Makonnen. The commission is to examine making the Cabinet responsible directly to Parliament instead of Emperor Haile Selassie. Setting up the commission is one of the moves the eighty-two-year-old feudal ruler has been forced to make in the wake of nation-wide civil disorder and army unrest, sparked off by the military uprising in the northern city of Asmara last month. The uprising led to the sacking of the Government and the current massive strife -- an unprecedented challenge to the Emperor's fifty-six-year rule.
The commission is also to guarantee further civil rights for the people. It's the most important of several commissions investing political and social reform.