The politics of Ethiopia takes place in a framework of a federal parliamentary republic, whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Federal legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament. On the basis of Article 78 of the 1994 Ethiopian Constitution, the Judiciary is completely independent of the executive and the legislature. The current realities of this provision are questioned in a report prepared by Freedom House.
According to the Democracy Index published by the United Kingdom-based Economist Intelligence Unit in late 2010, Ethiopia is an “authoritarian regime”, ranking as the 118th-most democratic out of 167 countries. Ethiopia has dropped 12 places on the list since 2006, and the latest report attributes the drop to the government’s crackdown on opposition activities, media and civil society before the 2010 parliamentary election, which the report argues has made Ethiopia a de facto one-party state.
In July 2015, during a trip that then-U.S. President Obama took to Kenya and Ethiopia, he highlighted the role of Ethiopia in the fight against Islamic terrorism. President Obama was the first sitting United States president to visit Ethiopia.