TPLF does not support transformation of the ruling coalition into a single party. Getachew Reda explained to BBC Amharic why his party does not support it.
September 25, 2019
In a recent remark, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has openly hinted that the ruling coalition, Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front(EPRDF), is working on transforming itself into a single unified party. If that happens, it means that the four ethnic parties that constitute the ruling coalition, including Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), will end their existence as an ethnic party.
This week, a rumor was circulating on social media that the coalition has finalized the work to unite itself under a new brand name – Ethiopian Prosperity Party (EPP).
Getachew Reda, a prominent TPLF executive member and apparently a critic of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration, is reacting to the story.
In an interview with BBC Amharic service, he indirectly confirmed the work to unify the coalition when he said that “TPLF will not accept a unity within the party that will be created for the sake of power.”
His position, which is believed to be TPLF’s position as well, is essentially the antithesis of what many Ethiopians think is TPLF’s intention when it created an ethnic-based ruling coalition. TPLF’s intention in creating the ethnic-based coalition was to dominate power for many decades. TPLF dominated, at least the majority of Ethiopians think that way, power for well over two decades until its domination came to an end in April of 2018 following the resignation of Hailemariam Desalgne.
Why is it that TPLF is not accepting the transformation of the coalition into a united party?
Getachew Reda told BBC Amharic service that existing problems within the ruling coalition need to be resolved first. He went further than that. “The principle that TPLF adheres to is not on how individuals can stay in power. TPLF believes that what makes a given organization [ or party] an organization is a thought,” he added.
He also confirmed that there is a move to form a single party although the ruling coalition has not officially disclosed it.
The issue of forming a single united party has been discussed for several years now within the party which Getachew confirmed to BBC.
However, he said that his ethnic Tigray party (TPLF) raised within the party that unity of purpose and goal has to happen first before taking action in the direction of unifying the party.
In his view, the difference in the coalition is not ironed out. “Probably the difference internally is broadened and is not resolved, ” he said.
And “I do not see any reason to move in the direction of unity [in the absence of internal unity],” Getachew emphasizes TPLF’s stand regarding that unity that is expected to happen.
What will happen if the rest of the coalition members agree to unite is a question that remains to be seen?
Ethiopia will have national election in 2020. And some political analysts tend to see the coalition party’s move to unite as a sort of preparation for it. Others see it as an important step in terms of easing ethnic tension in the country for these group tend to think that he transformation of the ruling coalition into a single party could help challenge the rising radical ethnic nationalism in the country.
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