EPRDF,Ethiopia’s ruling coalition, says preparation finalized to form a single party

EPRDF says preparation finalized to form a single national party. Executives will meet this weekend and transformation of the organization as a political entity to a single national party of Ethiopia is top agenda

EPRDF _ Ethiopia
Graphic prepared by EPRDF shows “renewal,” “inclusiveness”, “justice” and “getting stronger,” as overarching objectives transformation of the ruling coalition to a single national party. Credit: EPRDF page.

Ethiopian Ruling Coalition, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), move to end the existence of four ethnic-based parties that constitutes the organization has been a talking point for several months now. 

And there is divergence on it. There are those ethnic based parties within the umbrella organization who tend to see the transformation of the ruling coalition into a single party as a desirable one from the point of view of arresting the radical ethnic nationalist sentiment in different parts of the country which has been creating a recurrent security crisis claiming hundreds and thousands of lives while triggering a huge internal displacement. 

There are also other ethnic-based political groups under the umbrella organization of EPRDF who are favoring the unity. The political vocabulary used within the coalition used to call them was “sister parties.” These parties govern their respective ethnic-based regions (Afar, Benishangul, and Gambella and Somali regions).  However, unlike the four major ethnic-parties that constitutes the coalition namely, Amhara Democratic Party, Oromo Democratic Party, Tigray People’s Liberation Front and Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement, “sister parties do not have a voting privilege and were not represented in the executive committee and the central committee of the ruling coalition. It also means that leadership from these parties did not have a chance to hold important position including chairmanship of the party and prime minister Position. So for “sister parties”, transformation of the coalition is a welcome news as it will end what they called, rightly, discrimination. 

On the contrary, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) vehemently opposed the move claiming that it will be a recipe to trigger the disintegration of the country. The party has openly issued a statement after seven days of meeting in Mekelle, Tigray region. 

This week the organization disclosed that the preparation to form a single national party out of the ruling coalition is finalized. The party has made it clear that since many members of the coalition have agreed on the idea, no vote will be administered. It means that, according to a report by state affiliated media Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), a party or parties who do not be party of the new national party will have their separate ways. 

Deputy Head of the ruling coalition, Melese Alemu, told Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) those who oppose the formation of a single national party from the ruling coalition as an idea with no public support are wrong. 

“They have been putting hurdles for the idea not to succeed since the 5th congress of the ruling coalition,” he said. 

He sees the process leading to the formation of a single party from the trajectory of popular demand for change and from the point of view of addressing people’s demand for development. 

This weekend, the ruling party executives are expected to have a meeting and the issue is said to be a top agenda. 

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