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Abiy Ahmed’s ruling party unveils platform for upcoming election

Prosperity Party Chairman Abiy Ahmed announces election platform, calls for his comrades to do away with “it is our turn” sense of entitlement for a for power privilege. 

PM Abiy Ahmed speaking at the party even in Sheraton Addis (Photo : ENA)

February 15, 2021

Since more than 80 percent of the Ethiopian population resides in rural areas relying on subsistence agriculture, it is presumable that the electorate is mostly in the countryside. 

But it has been customary in the past few decades for Ethiopian political parties to organize party functions in lavish  hotels in the capital Addis Ababa. 

Abiy Ahmed’s ruling Prosperity Party which is essentially recycled from a TPLF led coalition that led the country for over quarter a century, EPRDF, could afford the city’s five-star hotel, Sheraton Addis. 

It is from there that the party on Monday unveiled its platform and symbol for the next general election — an issue that aggravated contradiction between what became Prosperity Party and the TPLF which in the end tempted the latter to attempt a comeback to the political centre through sheer force by attacking the Ethiopian Defense Force the result of which was disaster for  TPLF. 

During the election platform launch ceremony at Sheraton Addis, Abiy Ahmed said  “The Manifesto is not a contract. It is a covenant,” he said during the ceremony at Sheraton Addis. In his elaboration, he said the latter requires equal commitment — from the side of his party and from the public. 

“Multiethnic brotherhood for common prosperity,” it was said, as reported by Ethiopian News Agency, is the motto for the party. Ethiopia saw an unprecedented level of ethnic-based massacre, mostly against ethnic Amhara, in different parts of the country (especially in Oromo and Benishangul region of the country) since Abiy Ahmed took over power from Hailemariam Desalegne who resigned in February 2018. 

Prosperity Party officials including Abiy Ahmed himself were linking the massacres to TPLF, but they were happening even after TPLF was militarily defeated following three weeks of law enforcement operations, as the government calls it, in Tigray region of Ethiopia. 

Executives of the party were also present during the party manifesto launch event at the Sheraton. The party picked a light bulb as a symbol. 

Abiy Ahmed leadership is also criticized for what politicized Ethiopians and activists call “a turn for power privilege” and it is believed to be espoused by ethnic Oromo nationalists that are poised as members and/or leadership of the Prosperity Party. 

And attempted to address that skepticism in his message today. “The way to deliver prosperity for Ethiopia is to avoid a sense of entitlement for a turn of political power privilege, and stand united in one heart.” 

Clearly, support for Abiy Ahmed is not as strong as it used to be, but he still enjoys popular support in different parts of the country. 

Prosperity Party was officially established in December 2019 , and the party claims to have about 10 million members across the country.

The election will take place in May of this year. It was supposed to be held last August but was postponed due to the coronavirus situation in the country.

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