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OPDO elected Abiy Ahmed as party chairman

Lemma Megersa is now vice chairman of OPDO as Abiy Ahmed becomes chairman. why was the change needed?

OPDO Central committee
OPDO central committee
Source : SM

February 23, 2018

The central committee of Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) announced yesterday that it elected Abiy Ahmed (Dr.) as chairman of the party. Lemma Megersa, who was chairman of the party until yesterday, will work as vice-chairman of the party while maintaining his position as president of the regional state.

The leadership reshuffle is made to “ensure the interest of people in the region, enhance participation of the party at the federal level and ensure policy changes intended to improve conditions at the national and regional levels are attained”, according to the party.

In an interview with Oromia Broadcasting Network (OBN), Lemma Megersa said the leadership changes are made in the interest of people in the region, not in the interest of individuals.

With the resignation of Hailemariam Desalgne, the party is vying for the position. However, analysts say a constitutional hurdle makes Lemma Megersa unable to run for the position within the ruling party’s phony election, which is believed to be highly manipulated by TPLF, as he is not a member of the parliament.

For that reason, the party positioned Dr. Abiy Ahmed, who is a member of the federal parliament, as a contestant on the federal premiership post.

Dr. Abiy Ahmed, just like Lemma Megersa, has gained a considerable public trust among the rank and file members of the party and of course among the upper echelons. He has got some credit even among some politicized Ethiopians outside of his ethnic party support base. He is seen as a reformer with a great interest and potential in conflict resolution. Yet, some do not see prime minister in him for various reason, not the least of which is his age.

But the general problem is that most Ethiopians believe that the system in power cannot be reformed and the greater demand is for change. In addition, the position of federal prime minister office is under the firm control of TPLF.

TPLF activists are already celebrating the declaration of a state of emergency which sounded like a coup d’etat. And they seem to be indifferent if Abiy takes the prime minister position. The exception in the TPLF quarter is Getachew Reda, an influential young leader who was once a Federal government communications minister. He is relentlessly tarnishing Dr. Abiy Ahmed on social media using what many believe is his secret social media handle.

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