The TPLF controlled Ethiopian gov't declared a state of emergency for the second time. The SOE was declared by the Council of Ministers two weeks ago, but it had been waiting for to the house of people's representatives.
The country's parliament which was in recess when the SOE was declared reconvened today to vote on the measure. With a surprising turn of events the SOE was approved even though it failed to garner the required 2/3rd vote.
According to speaker of the house Aba Dula Gammadaa 346 members voted for the measure while 88 MPs, mostly from Oromia region, opposed. Seven MPs abstained. There were noticeably a lot of empty seats in the 547 person chamber. The speaker also reported that 8 seats are currently vacant. Many dispute that the no vote is under counted since significant portion of the right side didn't raise their hand when they were asked to support the measure. Surprisingly there were ambitious MPs who raised both hands to give the military an approval to kill and maim Oromos.
Regardless, the 346 Yes vote is less than the required 2/3rd to pass the measure. The gov't controlled media later amended the number saying that 395 MPs supported the measure. No one knows where they recovered the 49 votes. Observers say a gov't that has been rigging votes on its way to claiming 100% parliamentary seats would not be shy to steal 49 votes from a chamber it totally controls.
There has been fierce resistance through out towns and cities in Oromia, and the gov't killing machine has been busy indiscriminately gunning down Oromos.
Amnesty international called the measure to approve the SOE disappointing and irresponsible. Below is an excerpt of the statement by the Secretary General Salil Shetty.
It is deeply disappointing and irresponsible that Ethiopia’s MPs have chosen to restrict the people’s fundamental freedoms further instead of listening to their legitimate grievances. At this critical time of heightened political tension and protests, what is needed in Ethiopia is greater respect for human rights, not less.
Under the last state of emergency, we documented a series of grave human rights violations including unlawful killings, forced displacement, arbitrary arrests and detentions, as well as torture and other ill-treatment of detainees. Aspects of this new declaration abysmally fail to comply with established international human rights principles.
Amnesty International’s review of the state of emergency declaration was shared with MPs in an open letter dated 1 March ahead of their debate.