Oromo Democratic Party – ODM -is the new name for Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO)
It has been rumored for a long time and it is official today. What used to be Oromo Peoples Democratic Organization (OPDO) is rebranded as Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), according to a report by party affiliated media – Oromia Broadcasting Network (OBN).
It was announced today during the party’s 9th congress which is underway in Jimma, in South West Ethiopia.
The party also introduced a new party logo which features Oda tree and Geda colors (red, black and white)
Explaining why the changes were needed, OPDO (now ODP) officials say that it is meant to reflect the new chapter of struggle the party has reached. The party is one of the four member parties of the ruling coalition, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and has become major power player within the coalition unlike the past 27 years which was entirely dominated by ethnic Tigray minority party.
With the leadership of young and moderate ethno-nationalist leaders, Lemma Megersa and Abiy Ahmed, the party has now emerged virtually as a leader within the ruling coalition. The party as also achieved a considerable degree of acceptance outside of the ruling coalition and also outside of Oromo region of Ethiopia mainly due to its moderate ethno-nationalist stand and a positive view towards Ethiopia.
It was formed nearly a year or so before Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) led guerrilla forces took over power in Addis Ababa in 1983 Ethiopian Calendar (1991 G.C) and TPLF allegedly masterminded the formation of what is now ODP.
The party also kissed good bye to fourteen senior members of leadership that served the party for a very long time including Abba Dula Gemeda who served as party chairman, president of Oromo regional state, and House of speaker of the Federal parliament for nearly ten years. Kuma Demeksa, Girma Birru and Driba Kuma are among the heavyweight players that are terminated as leaders in the party.
Apart from rebranding, the party is poised to restructure the party in this 9th congress and new young leaders are expected to come to the front to fill in positions of those who are terminated.
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