National Election Board of Ethiopia is arbitrating the new party, Prosperity Party, and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). After settlement of outstanding debt, the former would get three-fourth of former EPRDF’s wealth and the latter one-fourth of it.
February 3, 2020
National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) disclosed on Tuesday that it had made decisions regarding the status of what was once the most powerful ruling coalition in the country – Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
“EPRDF, through its chairman [that is Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed], sent a letter to the Election Board saying that the coalition no longer exists. On the other hand, Chairman of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) sent a letter asking the Board to decide on property sharing,” the Board announced.
The Board did not seem to like the information from the parties regarding the end of the coalition. “Only the Board gets to decide that,” NEBE said in a statement.
However, the Board had to still meet, in the interest of procedures in place, to discuss the matter. “The Board learned that three members of EPRDF left the coalition to establish a Prosperity Party,” said Election Board. “Therefore, the Board unanimously decided that EPRDF is dissolved and does not exist any longer.”
The next order of things for the Board to decide is property sharing. In that regard, Property sharing between Prosperity Party and TPLF is appropriate, said the Board.
Accordingly, it is decided for the two entities:
1) To establish a joint committee to do an inventory of assets and audit of accounts
2. Any outstanding debt of EPRDF to be paid before property sharing
3. The remainder after paying debt, three-fourth will be to Prosperity Party, and one third to Tigray People’s Liberation Front – TPLF)
4. The National Election Board of Ethiopia requested to be notified within six months after the implementation of recommended actions
The Board, which is working on the next General election with a tentative date as August 10, did not mention the consequences if the parties failed to do so.
There have been reports in the past that EPRDF, in general, and TPLF, in particular, borrowed colossal amounts of money from Ethiopian banks to run a vast state-owned business conglomerate.
Before TPLF lost dominance in the central government in April 2018, it is said to have a business asset worth over $5 billion and engaged in a range of business activities, including in manufacturing, construction, export trade, banking, and insurance – among other things.
TPLF argues that EPRDF was dissolved illegally to establish Prosperity Party. Three former EPRDF coalition member parties and four other “support” parties merged in November 2019 to form Prosperity Party.
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