June 21, 2018
As the reform agenda of prime minister Abiy Ahmed administration gets bolder, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) called an emergency meeting in Mekelle and issued a statement upon completing it.
It sounded more like an ultimatum not only against the “new” government but also against member parties of the ruling coalition whom TPLF linked to betrayal of the ideology of the party, revolutionary democracy.
Among other things, TPLF condemned EPRDF Executive Committee economic decision to privatize major public enterprises and unfinished projects asserting that the decision will not bring about lasting solution to the economic crisis in the country. It also boldly stated that the economic crisis, including chronic foreign currency shortage, could rather be resolved in a durable manner by adhering to revolutionary democracy and developmental state principles.
In the political front, TPLF appeared as it is frustrated by the decision relating to restoring normalcy with Eritrea by accepting the December 2000 Algeris Peace Agreement in all its forms and working towards its implementation. What it did not like about ,claimed TPLF, is that the decision could have been announced after consultation with stakeholders and community members in the border area.
Apparently, TPLF acted as if opposed it when it realized that people in Tigray protested against EPRDF Executive Committee decision. Otherwise, TPLF has 25% representation in the committee that passed the decision, just like the other three parties. And there were reports that the decision on the peace offer to Eritrea was passed with unanimous decision.
Today, Ethiopian News Agency (government media) reported that TPLF chairman, Debretsion Gebremichal, and of course he was speaking on behalf of his ethnic party, announced that TPLF accepted economic reform measures saying that it is not at odds with developmental state policy.
TPLF also says that it sees the decision to improve relation with Eritrea and the response from Eritrea to send delegation to Ethiopia in a positive light as it could end 18 years of stalemate.
The tone and spirit of TPLF position today seem to vindicate Abiy Ahmed leadership in connection with EPRDF executive committee decision. Clearly, it represent a retreat from the belligerent statement the party issues about two weeks ago.
The question is what compelled TPLF to support the decision it condemned just a fortnight ago?
Possibly, the leaders in the party realized that support to the leadership of Abiy is a mountain they can not move. The massive demonstration in support of reform measures by Abiy Ahmed which is coming up this Friday is possibly another reason.
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