Ethiopian regions get 'opt-out' plan

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The Independent Online
ADDIS ABABA - The Ethiopian President, Meles Zenawi, yesterday opened the country's newly elected constituent assembly with a call for a constitution that, among other things, would embrace the right of self-determination for the country's different regions and ethnic groups. The 548-member parliament was elected in June with powers to approve a new constitution after the overthrow of the Marxist military dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam, in 1991.

A draft paper on the constitution has been prepared after months of debate involving Ethiopians across the country and President Zenawi said that he wanted it to reflect the wishes and interests of the people. But opposition groups, who are boycotting parliament, say self-determination will destroy Ethiopia's unity and lead to chaos. Reuter