Member parties of the ruling coalition, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, have been undertaking party congresses with the intent to reinvigorate the party for “greater success”
Two of the member parties, Oromo Democratic Party ( OPDO in its old name) and Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) has completed their congress and the rest are expected to do so by tomorrow.
Oromo Democratic Party has already achieved remarkable political success in that it has become a voice with strong influence within the coalition and noticeably got considerable legitimacy even outside of its constituency although the public trust is now beginning to shake due to inaction on lawlessness from radical ethnology-nationalist quarter. The motto for its 9th congress was “better ideas for better success.” As part of pursuit to the state goal, the party made a sweeping change for the central committee member by bringing in mostly young leaders and terminating the old ones “with honour.” In what seem to be an effort to demonstrate complete break from the past, the party even trashed its old name and logo altogether. Now it is poised to work for glory by leading the struggle for establishing democratic country.
In the case of TPLF, the effort is rather to restore lost glory. Clearly, the party seems to have intent mostly to use same leaders that rather brought about much harm to the party. If executive committee members elections is somehow a measure of the degrees to which the party is ready for change, the election that TPLF undertook today rather suggest that the party chose to stay the course in terms of ideology. Most of the executive committee members are from the old guards in the party. In terms of agenda, Tigray is priority – as has been the case.
“The new leadership will give special attention for Tigray to address issues related democracy and development,” Debretsion Gebremichael who is elected as chairman of the party is cited as saying. At the same time, he said that he “wants to work with other groups to defend the federal system.”
What seem to have surprised Ethiopians most is that TPLF included Getachew Assefa, former head of Ethiopian intelligence who is allegedly responsible for numerous killings, torture and disappearance, on board of the executive committee of the party.
As far as Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) is concerned, the party terminated 24 long time member central committee members, which is the main body that governs the party, of the party “with honour.” Former Prime minister Hailemariam Desalgne and Shiferaw Shigute, loyal and strong ally of TPLF within the party, are among central committee members made to retire. Door is wide open for young leaders.
Amhara Democratic Party (and this used to be Amhara National Democratic Movement) terminated 12 long time serving central committee members. Charmian of the party and Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonen was among members included in the list for termination. The 12th congress of the party, however, rejected the idea that he should not be included in the list of nomination for central committee members. His track record in the course of the struggle for democracy from within the ruling coalition was in his favor which pushed the congress to fiercely defend his candidature and he has agreed to it. Nomination for central committee members was completed today and the party is poised to finalize its election for executive committee tomorrow.
The next step is the congress for the ruling coalition (EPRDF) itself which will take place starting this week in Hawassa, South Ethiopia. And it is expected to be tense, as analysts see it.
Join the conversation. Like borkena on Facebook and get Ethiopian News updates regularly. As well, you may get Ethiopia News by following us on twitter @zborkena