EPRDF: Ethiopia’s ruling coalition kicks off much awaited 11th congress

EPRDF 11th Congress _ Abiy Ahmed
Abiy Ahmed as he arrives in Hawassa
Source : EBC

borkena
October 3,2018

Four member parties of Ethiopia’s ruling coalition, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, had been conducting their respective party congresses in the past two weeks.

Two of the member parties have changed their names and party logos. Three of member parties have passed more or less similar decisions to foster support for the ongoing reform and change in the country. They sweep away older and experienced leadership from various leadership positions including in the central committee and executive committee membership so as to make way for younger generations within these parties to take a leadership positions.

The only exception from EPRDF member parties is Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which is not enthusiastic about supporting the change, if it is not totally against it. One of the reasons for relentless protest across the country which ushered into the change that Ethiopians have been witnessing in the past six months was essentially opposition to TPLF elites who wanted to continue ruling the country ruthlessly. Yesterday, TPLF broke the news that it brought former spy chief, who is said to be one of the principal authorities responsible for much of the killings and torture in the country in the past two decades, on board of the party‚Äôs Executive Committee which means that he will be attending the 11th congress.

EPRDF 11th Congress

EPRDF is kicking off today its 11th party congress in Hawassa (this is the second time for Hawassa to host EPRDF congress) and it will be underway for the next three days.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed arrived in Hawassa yesterday as reported by government media outlets.

Motto for this congress is “National Unity for multifaceted prosperity.” Obviously unity has become a crucial challenge to the country as the 27 years of ethnic-politics that emphasized division got matured.

Apart from electing chairman and deputy-chairman and other meeting agenda, Congress will look at the implementation of decisions passed during the tenth congress.

Currently, Abiy Ahmed is serving as chairman of the coalition while Demeke Mekonen is deputy-chairman.
Ethiopians seem to think that the Congress could be a tense one as TPLF is allegedly striving to reverse the course of the reform that is underway in the country by electing a chairman loyal for “revolutionary democracy” ideology. Analysts like Ermias Legesse think that the coalition might break up as members of the coalition seem to have irreconcilable differences that would make it impossible for them to remain coalition members.

Yet, there is also a view that enough support is available in the congress to elect Abiy Ahmed as Chairman again unless the Congress is divided on other contentious issues like the status of Addis Ababa although it is not clear if it will be part of the agenda at this time.

The public is expecting decision relevant for economic reform, apparently. Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporations (EBC) cited economists in the country who tend to think that the Congress needs to come up with ideas to solve existing economic challenges in the country.



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