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On taking office in July 1991, the transitional government immediately re-drew Ethiopia's administrative map under proclamation No. 7/1992, which set out the borders of 14 new regions on the basis of ethnic and linguistic criteria. The number of regions was subsequently cut back to 10, by combining five of them - 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 - plus the chartered city of Dire Dawa, which does not have the status of a region but has the same powers. Under the constitution adopted in December 1994, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) includes the federal state and nine member states, plus the capital, Addis Ababa, also a region.



Federal institutions include a bicameral parliament made up of the House of Peoples' Representatives (HPR) and the House of the Federation; A Prime Minister, appointed for five years by the majority coalition; A President of the Republic, appointed by parliament, with a largely honorary role. Members of the HPR are elected for a five-year term by universal suffrage in a single ballot for a single member. A total 545 MPs were elected in the last May 1995 election. The HPR adopts legislation concerning areas under the responsibility of the federal state. The House of the Federation is made up of members representing the regions, who are elected for five-year terms by the regional assemblies. Each nation, nationality and people is represented by at least one member, plus an extra member per million inhabitants (on the basis of the 1984 census, as the results of the1994 census were incomplete at the time of the May 1995 elections.)



Regional governments were set up under proclamation No. 7/1992. Each local government includes a State Council (the highest organ of state authority) and a State Administration (highest organ of executive power), according to the constitution of the FDRE. The State Council is the highest political authority: it defines the region's policy and has all legislative, executive and judiciary powers regarding the region, except for those under the responsibility of the central government, such as defence, foreign affairs, economic policy etc. The State Council plans, approves, heads and controls economic and social development programmes. It drafts, approves and manages the regional budget. The State Administration is the highest executive authority of regional government.

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