Could Abadula Gemeda turn the political tide around?
borkena, Ethioia News
A week after announcing a resignation, Abadula Gemeda revealed to Oromia Broadcasting Network why he resigned as speaker of Ethiopian Federal parliament. He said he resigned because of “disrespect” and an attack on the “dignity of Oromo people.” And that he saw no interest to avoid attacks on the dignity and hour of Oromo people.
Seemingly, he was making a reference to the dominant party in the ruling coalition- Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front – TPLF. Abadula also accused of the TPLF administration of humiliating and attacking the interest’s of his ethnic party (OPDO). And he vowed to join the struggle to “restore” dignity to his party and his people and to protect the interests of his party.
Abadula avoided explaining why he resigned when he was asked last week.
Those who know him from his early days says that he was a soldier under the military government and was then captive of war by the rebel forces. After few years after Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front took over power in Addis Ababa, he was known as a military general. When the political crisis hit TPLF from within, he was made to throw away his uniform along to lead OPDO party and become president of oromo regional state for many years.
He was rather known as a loyal comrade for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front elites who are controlling real power in Ethiopia.
There is the mixed reaction among politicized Ethiopians. There are those who see his resignation as non-issue and there are those who see it as a significant development which will perhaps transform the resistance to the ruling TPLF leaders. There are even those who tend to see his resignation as a sort of conspiracy to rescue TPLF from collapse but this view does not seem to resonate well with many Ethiopians with insight and expertise on Ethiopian politics.
Whatever the case, it is not to be disputed that he is the first high ranking politicians to resign power since the coming to power of the ruling party some twenty-seven years ago. He is also the first politician to openly criticize the government he served for more than two decades in different capacities. It is perhaps worth mentioning that there are ethnic oromo activists who tend to see Abadula Gemeda as an asset with a potential to turn around the struggle againt TPLF.
What triggered his resentment and the consequent resignation is the conflict between oromo and somali regions of Ethiopia and the consequent humanitarian crisis. According to many reports from Ethiopia, nearly 150,000 Oromo Ethiopians were forcefully displaced from Somali region and more than 50 were killed while hundreds were wounded. The discontent is predicated on the belief that not only the federal government did not do enough to stop the somali regional government but also that it was tacitly encouraging the somali regional government, which is seen as an ally of Tigray, to carry on the attack.
The authority of TPLF is questioned more than ever before and there has been a re-during protest in oromo region of Ethiopia.
While the majority of the seats in the parliament are for ANDM (Amhara National Democratic Movement) and Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), absolute power is exercised by Tigray People’s Liberation Front which represents only six percent of the Ethiopian population. Ironically, It is Tigray People’s Liberation Front that created what it calls “sister parties” after the fall of the military government in 1991.
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