Ethiopia’s Prosperity Party starts its First Party Congress tomorrow with the aim to elect “strong leaders”
About a week after announcing a major purge at the regional level, Prosperity Party, Ethiopia’s ruling party, is poised to undertake its first congress which will launch on Friday. Representatives of South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) arrived in the country on Thursday, according to a report by the Ethiopian News Agency.
As a prelude to the congress, the prosperity party was undertaking three days of meetings in Nazret (now Adama) which ended on Thursday. The party made claims that it has achieved “success” in terms of defending the sovereignty of Ethiopia. It is also making pledges that it will deal with ethical issues including corruption within the party.
The party also makes claims that it has rescued Ethiopia from disintegration. However, recent political decisions, including on matters of the way the war against TPLF is handled and failures to protect the security of Ethiopians as a radical ethnic Oromo Nationalist group slaughters innocent civilians on a regular basis, has generated a noticeable public disenchantment, and the party is believed to have lost considerable support.
Bikila Hurrisa, public relations head of the party, said on Thursday, during a press conference, that the first congress of Prosperity Party will elect strong leaders capable of discharging responsibility to attain party mission.
Prosperity Party was established about three years ago after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed initiated a political process to end the existence of the now-defunct Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, a coalition of four major ethnic-based parties and three other support parties which were crafted by Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) under the leadership of the late Meles Zenawi in 1991.
TPLF parted ways with member parties disagreeing with the formation of a single united party – one of the factors that contributed to the tension with the Federal government that led to the war which is not yet concluded.
Although Prosperity Party appears to be superficially a single united party it is not much different from EPRDF in the sense that ethnic-based governance is still strong within the party. Branch offices are based in regional states which are configured on the basis of an ethnic-based federal form of government. Just like EPRDF, the Prosperity Party structure becomes ethnic-based outside of the capital Addis Ababa, a city over which Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s former Oromo People’s Democratic Organization claimed exclusive ownership right just before the establishment of the Prosperity Party was declared.
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