Intra Party Democracy in Ethiopia: Towards a Regulatory Regime

  • Teguadda Alebachew Sete
Keywords: cultures of democracy, intra party democracy, political parties, party regulation, multi- party system


In Ethiopia, political parties are argued to have problems in their internal functioning: non adherence to party internal rules, dominance of party leaders, disengaging party members in party decision making and governance, little institutionalization of party functions and weak party organization. These internal problems are also believed to have resulted in weak political parties that do not provide viable political choices to the electorate. This Article investigates whether intra-party democracy (IPD) is adequately regulated in Ethiopia and seeks to establish the need for a sufficient regulatory regime to promote IPD. For this purpose, the author examines the pertinent provisions from the FDRE Constitution, relevant subsidiary laws and bylaws of three purposively selected political parties. Besides, relevant research works are used to address the matter. Accordingly, the finding suggests that intra party democracy is not adequately regulated in Ethiopia. As it is evident in the FDRE Constitution and party laws, party regulation in Ethiopia is more inclined to the external
behavior of parties than their internal operation. The Constitution and and party laws contain ew provisions regulating limited aspect of internal behavior of parties. In addition, despite the claims under the bylaws of parties to adhere to democratic principles, there is democratic deficit in their internal functioning leading them to an endless cycle of disintegration, merger and re-constitution. This Article therefore calls for a full-fledged regulation of IPD to promote democracy with parties. It is important that the government enacts a detailed law intended at enforcing internal democracy in political parties.