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The Ethiopian Empire (Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ንጉሠ ነገሥት መንግሥተ, Mängəstä Ityop'p'ya) once historically known as Abyssinia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa, and is the most populous landlocked country in the world. It exists from approximately 1137 (beginning of Zagwe Dynasty). It is bordered by Egypt, British East Africa, Italian Somalia, British Somalia, French Somaliland and Italian Eritrea.
Following the British occupation of Egypt in 1882, it was the only African nation together with Liberia to remain independent during the Scramble for Africa by the European imperial powers in the late 19th century.
In 1921 the Emperor promulgated Ethiopia's first constitution establishing a parliamentary monarchy.
The 1918 flu epidemic kills Empress Zewditu I, assuming the regent Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael has Emperor under the name of Haile Selassie I.
In 1921 the Emperor granted the first Ethiopian Constitution. This constitution was based on the Meiji Constitution of Japan, a country that educated and reformist Ethiopians considered a model for its successful adoption of Western learning and technology to the framework of a non-Western culture. Like the Japanese constitution, the Emperor remains the key political power, informally advised by the military and reformist aristocracy.
- The Emperor. All power over central and local government, the legislature, the judiciary, and the military is vested in the emperor. The Emperor's own status, reserved to imperial succession to the line of Haile Selassie, by the constitution is declared that "the person of the Emperor is sacred, his dignity inviolable, and his power indisputable."
- Council of Regency consist of the Empress Mother, the two descendants of the line of Haile Selassie most nearly related to the Emperor, as determined by the Crown Council, having reached the age of eighteen and being of sound mind, the Patriarch, the Prime Minister, the President of the Senate and the President of the Chamber of Deputies. The President of the Council of Regency is the Empress Mother, or, in Her absence, the Prime Minister. No decisions of the Council of Regency can be taken except by a two-thirds majority of its Members.
- The Crown Council convenes when the Emperor deems appropriate. The Crown Council consist of the Patriarch, and the Princes, Ministers, and Dignitaries designated by the Emperor and the President of the Senate. The Crown Council is presided over by the Emperor or by a member designated by Him.
- Council of Ministers, assists and carries out the administration and acts of law. The Emperor appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister and all other Ministers and Vice Ministers. Originally established in 1919 based on European models.
- The Deliberative Bodies, the constitution established as bicameral parliament for Ethiopia. Until this document, there had never been a formal legislative body in Ethiopia. The laws prepared and approved by those chambers become executory by imperial promulgation.
- Senate is appointed by the Emperor. The senators are chosen from members of the dignitaries (Mekuanent) and the local chiefs (Shumoch) or those who have for a long time served the Empire as princes or ministers, judges or army leaders.
- Chamber of Deputies is elected with a mandate of 5 years. Its deputies are elected from two electoral colleges: a) elect a group of 20 for each of the 12 provinces, who would then meet at the provincial capitals to select five of their numbers to be deputies and b) from the chartered cities.
- the judicial power is in charge of a Supreme Imperial Court and inferior courts. All courts exercised authority "in the name of the emperor." All judges have a life tenure and are appointed and removed by the Emperor. Their nomination, appointment, promotion, removal, transfer and retirement is determined by the Imperial Council of the Judiciary, integrated by the Emperor, the judges of the Supreme Imperial Court and the Justice Minister
The Constitution may be amended by an identical Joint Resolution adopted by three-fourths of the members of each Chamber in two separate sessions of Parliament and finally proclaimed with the approval and authority of the Emperor.
Ethiopia is divided in provinces (ghizatoch), subdivided into subprovinces (awraji ghizatoch), districts (wereda), and subdistricts (mikitil wereda).
Chartered cities have a municipal council and a mayor appointed by the Emperor from a list of three candidates presented by the municipal council.
Political parties are a recent innovation in Ethiopian society. By law all private and non Imperial organizations must be registered to the appropriate authorities. Several laws prohibit republican, communist and secessionist parties, or any association that promotes such ideas as illegal.
However, most candidates run as independents or represent local tribal interests. They are staunch supporters of the Emperor and rally around the nobles. They are usually labeled as Liberal-Royalists or Conservative-Royalists.
Culture and Education
Amharic is the sole national language, no facilities in education, courts or administration are given to other languages.
The main higher education institution is the University College of Addis Ababa, later renamed Haile Selassie I University.
The constitution recognized the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has the state and official national church. Islam and Judaism are recognized has protected religions. They have freedom of worship and enjoy certain privileges in taxation and legal matters. Catholicism and Protestantism have limited recognition.
Ethiopian Air Lines serves as the country's flag carrier, and is wholly owned by the Government of Ethiopia. It operates a fleet of airplanes and has one airship.
Radio Ethiopia is the state national broadcaster.
The armed forces are made up of the following organizations:
- Mehal Sefari, the Imperial Royal Guard
- Kebur Zabagna (Ethiopian Imperial Guard) serves the dual purposes of providing security for the Emperor of Ethiopia, and being an elite infantry division.
- Army of the Ethiopian Empire (Central Army)
- Provincial Forces (Territorial Armies)
- Ethiopian Imperial Air Force
The Imperial Ethiopian Police, was organized under British tutelage as a centralized national force with paramilitary and constabulary units.