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Ethiopia’s parliament approved the new law to accept TPLF as a legal party 

Ethiopian Parliament _ Electoral laws _ TPLF
Tagesse Chafo, speaker of Ethiopian Parliament (photo : public domain)

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Toronto – The Ethiopian Parliament on Tuesday approved Political Parties Registration  and Electoral Ethics Bill  – a revised bill.  The Council of Ministers referred the proposed law on May 31 after “unanimously” passing it. 

The Council of Ministers argued that the earlier version of the bill had gaps. It argued that there was no legal provision to reaccept political parties that were engaged in armed and terrorist activity, when they “demonstrate interest in peaceful and legal political activity.” 

According to the newly approved law, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia will be able to reaccept political parties  who were engaged in militant or terrorist activity as a legal entity. 

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is said to have regained its legal status according to the revised law. The Federal parliament designated the organization as a terrorist group in May 2021 in connection with the attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force that was posted in the Tigray region – which is said to have claimed the lives of at least 3000 soldiers. Also, the TPLF made a military venture to the Afar and Amhara regions in 2020 and 2021 where it massacred tens of thousands of civilians. The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia also revoked the TPLF as a legally registered party. 

The TPLF and Abiy Ahmed led prosperity party have been moving in the direction of what appears to be a political and military alliance following the Pretoria Agreement which ended their two years war that is believed to have claimed about million lives from the Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions. 

The extent to which Abiy Ahmed’s party has traveled to legalize the TPLF in the post Pretoria Agreement period has noticeably generated suspicion about possible joint political/military projects by the two entities. The speculation is about the target “enemy” entity. Some say the alliance is against Fano forces. Others say it is against Eritrea.

The TPLF is the only political party in Ethiopia with an armed forces of its own. Getachew Reda this year announced that the Organization has more than 270,000 armed forces. 

The narrative of “demonstrated interest in peaceful and legal political activity” in relation to the TPLF seems to be biased, to say the least, in favor of the TPLF. The organization made major military moves in the past two months killing dozens of civilians  and displacing more than 50,000 residents from the Amhara region of Ethiopia. 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. The government of Abiy Ahmed has to meet all the demands of the TPLF because he is in desperate need of the military support of the regional power Tigray. The Eritrean trained and armed Amhara forces are defeating his Oromo dominated army and threatening both his government and Oromia. Oromia is the gift of Tigray to the oromo people and its long term security and integrity are dependent on Tigray forces.

  2. Abiy Ahmed must be in dire straits to re-baptize an armed party once labelled as a terrorist group to reclaim the status of a legitimate party. So far he has shown us his un-paralleled lack of strategic thinking. He creates unnecessary enemies to defeat them with his former enemies. Either he is suffering from incurable paranoia, or he is totally incompetent. The TPLF should have been banned forever from the political landscape of Ethiopia. There are many parties that could have taken its place in Tigray. But the PM chose to revive a party that wanted nothing less than the destruction of Ethiopia. I think that by this gesture (and I don’t believe for a minute that it comes from the Parliament), Abiy Ahmed has decreased exponentially the number of his supporters.

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