GSTS Proposes Highest Decision-Making Interim Council, Emphasizing Broad Support and Legitimacy

The Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals (GSTS) has presented a comprehensive proposal for forming a Tigray Interim Council, urging all Tigrayan stakeholders to consider its merits carefully.

This initiative is the second ever to the proposal (in a legislation form) put forth by the opposition political party Salsay Weyane Tigray, offering an alternative to the one introduced by the Interim Regional Administration (IRA) of Tigray in the first week of November 2023.

In contrast to the advisory council suggested by the Interim Government and its stakeholders, both GSTS and the Salsay Weyane Party advocate for a decision-making body positioned as the highest authority in the hierarchy of Tigray’s administration.

As stated in a document sent to Yabele Media by the Global Society, the primary goal of the proposal is to provide a well-considered and consensus-driven plan leading to establishing a functional Interim Council, enjoying broad-based support and legitimacy.

The proposal draws insights from the experiences of setting up the Tigray Interim Administration (TIA), learning from its subsequent challenges, and integrating relevant international experiences while acknowledging the unique context of Tigray.

According to the proposal, the outlined principles and core values guiding the establishment and operation of the Tigray Interim Council are crafted to ensure inclusivity, transparency, and effectiveness. Key principles include fair representation of diverse viewpoints, independence, fostering civil discourse, consensus-building, democratic pluralism, adherence to the rule of law, and prioritization aligning with Tigray’s survival and strategic interests. The proposal emphasizes accountability, diversity, and a high level of openness to public scrutiny to maintain the trust of the Tigrayan people.

GSTS asserts that the Interim Council should assume the role of the highest authority and decision-making body within the Interim Regional Administration of Tigray (IRA), rather than merely serving in an advisory capacity.

However, questions arise regarding establishing such a council and the Council’s ability to do so, considering the public does not directly elect it. At the same time, the fact is that the interim government remains accountable to the Federal Government of Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers, particularly the Prime Minister, who appointed the Interim President of Tigray, albeit through a nomination by TPLF.

Despite such legal and political concerns, numerous Tigrean institutions, academics, civil society organizations, advocacy groups, opposition parties, and others are calling for the restoration of the full political rights of the people of Tigray and for the region to govern itself autonomously and re-establish a proper regional council and executive body. Representatives of GSTS have further emphasized in a recent online discussion that their proposal for the highest decision-making body aligns with the rights and aspirations of the people of Tigray.

For a more in-depth exploration of the proposal, you can read the full document here.