PM says new commission to change political culture

photo: Anteneh Aklilu

The soon to start National Reconciliation Commission may focus not only on political and social grievances but previous corruption and misbehaviors as well, Capital learned.
A week ago the Council of Ministers approved the draft proclamation to form the commission, which was considered a positive response to 30 years of requests for such an endeavor.
During his latest appearance at the parliament PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD) said that misdeeds that occurred in the past was huge which would make it difficult to take legal measures against those illegal acts.
“There would not be enough penal complexes in the country for us to prosecute everyone involved in illegal activity,” he explained. He strongly stated that almost everyone has been involved in illegal activities in the previous period and to solve this problem people need to come to a consensus and understanding.
He went on to say that because of the previous circumstances that the new administration is taking action that should eventually be changed and to achieve this goal the political culture would be improved for future generations. One way to do this, he argued, would be through a draft proclamation which addresses these issues.
“Instead of arresting people, we are attempting to solve the problems of theft and abuse through this commission,” he said. Although, he explained, major crimes would be addressed through the legal system and not the commission.
Since the coming of the EPRDF after the fall of the Derg regime in 1991 several political activists and individuals who have followed the country’s political system have said the EPRDF led government should come up with a reconciliation commission and national consensus to halt public grievances and establish a smooth and democratic political platform in the country. Even though political elites asked for reconciliation, the ruling party refused it, claiming that there were no grievances in the country.
Political analysts have also claimed that ignoring the reconciliation issue has accelerated the grievances and increased political instability in the country.
The reconciliation commission may facilitate the platform to stabilize the peace process in the country and accelerate the reform introduced since the coming of Abiy.
There have been many reports of corruption and human rights violations recently including a large number of arrests despite the fact that the commission may offer some forgiveness for past crimes.