Boycotting election 2010 as an option – By Robele Ababya, 31 March 2010

March 31st, 2010 Print Print Email Email

The best bullet is the ballot to remove tyrant Meles from power for at this time the ballot is equally available to all who opt to get it in accordance with constitution imposed by TPLF. (more…)

The best bullet is the ballot to remove tyrant Meles from power for at this time the ballot is equally available to all who opt to get it in accordance with constitution imposed by TPLF. Ethiopians and the opposition democratic forces might once again perhaps for the last time try to beat tyrant Meles at the ballot box. But of course registered voters can abstain by staying at home and opposition democratic parties can exercise their powerful option to boycott the election at any time in a coordinated manner for good reasons thus exposing the repressive ruling Party for any foul play.

Ethiopians have been nursing their deep wound inflicted by tyrant Meles in the aftermath of the election 2005 at which their resounding victory was stolen ruthlessly on the watch of the Bush Administration and the Labor Government of Tony Blair. The illegitimate TPLF regime is all set to do likewise in the coming election in 2010 by arrogantly and contemptuously letting the Ethiopian people know in advance that he shall rule for another five years and then ‘retire’ in 2016.

The year 2010 would no doubt be fraught with several obstacles and formidable problems. Democratic forces have no choice but face them resolutely and expect to walk through the political mine fields that are already laid, and would be laid, by the masters of deception in the top echelon of the TPLF regime. So for the sake of our fundamental values at stake, opposition democratic forces must unite to turn problems into opportunities and deal a heavy blow to the repressive ruling regime.

The tyrant hailed by his cohorts as “Statesman leading Africa”, has sold not only vital interests of Ethiopia but also of the African continent barrel and stock at the COP15. The turncoat amassed wealth hoodwinking donors of the industrialized world that democracy for Ethiopia is not an option but a necessity for survival. He came to power wading through the pool of blood and walking over the strewn corpses of young and able-bodied children of poor peasants. He should be expected to use force, deceit, stealing of votes and subverting his opponents all and sundry

It is already known that the year 2010 is fraught with several obstacles and formidable problems. Democratic forces have no choice but face them resolutely and expect to walk through the political mine fields that are already laid, and would continue to be laid, by the masters of deception in the top echelon of the TPLF regime. So for the sake of our fundamental values at stake, opposition democratic forces must unite to turn problems into opportunities and deal a heavy blow to the repressive ruling regime.

It would be cowardly and dereliction of one’s civic duty to let the traitors claim victory in a fake election and allow the TPLF regime to ride roughshod on our freedom once again under the pretext of democratically elected government.

Arguments for and against boycotting election 2010

There are strong arguments in favor of boycotting election 2010 and perhaps equally strong arguments in favor of taking part. The two options stand at opposite ends of the political spectrum. In both cases the deciding factor is the ingenuity of opposition political parties in selling their arguments to the Ethiopian voters who are the ultimate authority to cast their ballots at the polls or abstain to signal the use of other methods of struggle to evict from power the hugely unpopular genocidal leader of the TPLF ethnocentric regime.

The number of voters turning up at the polls or staying at home will of course determine the desire of the Ethiopian people.

The political dynamics on our home soil is changing at a rapid rate. The ruthless ruling TPLF party is nervous. The people have the right to vote or not to vote and the opposition has the powerful option to boycott the election at any time. Public opinion will no doubt shift on the spectrum between pros and cons of boycotting the election.

Election 2010 is extremely important since its possible outcomes will have a strong impact on the future of Ethiopia which is on the brink of further fragmentation as if dismemberment of Eritrea was not enough. So it would be prudent to conjecture some scenarios that would emerge from assumed prerequisites and issues.

Prerequisites: Critical prerequisites for any democratic election are all too familiar but are worth mentioning for ease of reference, vide Table-1 below:

The above prerequisites are by no means exhaustive, but are indispensable to a democratic election. All hardened stances of the ruling regime indicated in the second column shall work against it to the advantage of opposition democratic forces.

Issues: Fair and free election essentially means there is conducive environment to raise substantive issues of national concern and bring them to the full understanding of the electorates. In that process each contestant is free to bring to light the weaknesses of the other in order to win votes.

Issues in a civilized democratic election make or break a particular contender. Let us see what issues are available to the opposition side including Medrek:

The observations in the second column of Table-2 enjoy overwhelming support domestically and globally and are therefore hard to defend by the ruling Party.

The following three scenarios are derived from the Table-1 and Table-2 above

Scenario – I: Fair, free and transparent election

This scenario may appear farfetched in the face of increasingly totalitarian stance of the ruling regime. However, given the current political dynamics of rising support for Medrek and mounting pressure on tyrant Meles by the international community and democratic governments like the USA, there is reason to assume that the political space may be widened. One would be quick to add that the choice between the emergence of robust democracy and entrenchment of a one-party state ruled by rogues would increase impetus for united action by the opposition democratic forces to evict the ruling party from power. .

So in a free, fair and transparent election, there is over 90% probability that the convincing defeat of TPLF party seen in May 2005 will repeat and will most likely hold this time because the Bush Administration is no more in power to support the regime under the pretext of partnership against the war on terror. The world now knows that tyrant Meles is terrorizing the Ethiopian people and destabilizing the region in cohort with his twin dictator Isaias. He is a candidate for trial in ICC for crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Scenario – II: Forced calling off of the election

Opposition forces will narrow their differences and intensify their struggle. The regime will realize that its attempt to hide hunger and famine has severely damaged its atrocious image and its record of gross violation of basic human rights will increasingly haunt it. Donors will be embarrassed by the concealment of the famine and misuse or stealing of funds donated for the famine victims as in the case of the shameful practice of the TPLF in 1984. There will be popular unrest due to soaring cost of living. The opposition will use its powerful option to boycott the election at any time. The regime will succumb to such mounting pressures and at the last minute call off the election in favor of peace and reconciliation in a power-sharing arrangement. This scenario would in the opinion of this writer in the best interest of a bloodless transition.

Scenario III – Transitional government of national unity

Under this Scenario the contest will be so close to the extent that no party will win outright comfortable enabling victory to govern. The ruling party will therefore have no alternative but comply or face uprising..

Scenario – IV Success of rigged election

The argument that vestiges of former colonial masters are up and running in their new attire of neo-colonialism. The scramble for Africa is in full swing. As the saying attributed to British colonizers goes, there are no permanent friends but permanent interests. So vestiges of former colonial masters may not forego their national interests in favor of vibrant democracy in Ethiopia. Provided the puppet regime would pose no danger to their interests, some Western powers may turn a blind eye again to daylight robbery of votes as in the case of election 2005.
Therefore, the prospect of intensified all-inclusive struggle including use of force in the aftermath of a rigged election would be inevitable. A full-fledged civil strife and regional instability, for which the ruling regime would be solely and singularly be held responsible, is most likely to breakout. Readiness for this eventuality is logically imperative.

God forbid this scenario by giving wisdom to donors not to give direct support to the totalitarian regime of tyrant Meles unless he fully opens the political space before election 2010.

Release Judge Birtukan and all political prisoners in Ethiopia!



  1. aha!
    | #1

    Not under the current configuration of political parties, since 2007, K-5 and KLL6, which formed into UDJP and now into coalition Medrek with ethnic agenda, and later split of the K-5 and KILL6 into Ginbot-7 in armed struggle, where Ginbot 7 adopted the principle of your enemiey’s enemy is your friend and UDJP seems to have adopted the same pinciple by joining Medrek/Tigrai-Harena/fdd/efdr, a mirror image of TPLF/eprdf. This aligment of parties and forces with armed struggle is a false premise as there are no enemity btween TPLF/eprdf and Tigrai-Harena towards the cause for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, while there is a rivalery as to who is best fit for to represent or for the cause of Tigrai and Eritrea respctively, because EPLF/Eritrea and TPLF/eprdf, and Tigrai-Harena/fdd/efdr and TPLF/eprdf are the two sides of the same coin, despite some differences on extraneous issues. This leaves KAEUP, EDP and others, resisting these forces in territorial integrity on the other side of the spectrum on the opposite side of a dichothomy between forces of disintegration and integration of Ethiopia. With the parties aligned into three factions, with Medrek, through UDJP siphonig votes from KAEUP, EDP and others, there will be no clear winner unless the election is made to be fair and free. That will not happen because of the backsliding of TPLF/eprdf regime and bocotting the election gives TPLF/eprdf regime, since it will have enough parties to go along with election as a form struggle against TPLF/eprdf regime and as there is no plan what to go along with boycotting along the lines what EPRP has been advocating in the first place, as Plan B, if TPLF/eprdf regime does not implement the Code of Conduct Agreements and the 8-point preconditions for negoatiatiations to bring about fair and free elections. Medrek is is neither here or there on that count, except for its propoosal for a bilateral talk with TPLF/eprdf regime.

  2. Ferenj Lebaw
    | #2

    This guy is a dreamer of the diaspora. All the movements in Ethiopia should cease because he thinks boycotting is an option. That is the dream of TPLF and he wants to help them. Robele are you hired?

  3. የ ቕራው
    | #3

    Mr. Robele you have written excellent piece & I commend you for your effort.

    Nevertheless, most of us are keenly aware that boycotting the Election has been a new anthem for G7 Leadership and some of their supporters. However, I wonder why they have either refused or failed to explain to the public at large the following:

    A)Who are we in Diaspora to determine the future of our people at home? Or we believe our people back home are not intelligent enough to determine their future ?
    B)If we all agree to boycott the election and fail to engage with the people on the ground, is there a tangible alternative plan prepared and ready to be implemented by those who are too busy advocating the boycott?
    C)Though this election is manipulated and controlled buy TPLF, the courageous people of Ethiopian from AA, Oromaia and Tigray are sacrificing their lives daily because they Believe They Can! So, do some politicians in Diaspora internationally failed or they are incapable of appreciating the heroic effort by UDJ, MEDREK and ARENA to expose and weaken TPLF rulers in short period of time in the name of “election”?
    C)What is the purpose of those how are against peaceful struggle and have decided to bare arms and fight TPLF wasting their energy on the election? Did they not have the courage to fight or they are having a second thought about their initial political program?
    D)Is the credibility of political leaders measured by bluffing from a distance or fighting the tyrant regime in close proximity at home?
    E)Can anyone provide me single creditable evidence that that G7 or those who are condemning the peaceful movement have has delivered any results on the ground except the same all lip service?

    By no means I am against armed struggle against TPLF. However, it is obvious for the average Ethiopian that, those who have decided peruse Peaceful Struggle at home have shown courage and conviction than those who have declared to bare arms.

    Politics is largely a matter of heart (R.A. Butler 1902-1982)

  4. abbaymado
    | #4

    I compltly agree with Roble Ababya’s opinion except that the issue of boycotting the Ethiopian election as political weapon may not resemble and, indeed, yield positive outcome as much as Myanmar’s case as reported on the Wall Street Journal of Tuesday, March 30, 2010, page A15. The NLD (National League for Democracy)had decided to boycott the elction because (1) the rule set by the Military Regime for the election was not fair, (2) the military regime had placed the opposition leader Ms. Aung San Suu kyl in house arrest and (3) disqualify anyone organization having a member in prision, ….among other things. In the previous election, diplomats from the United States and some of its allies have indicatedthat they can not recognize any election in Myanmar that doesn’tinvolve the participation of imprisioned leader of the National League for Democratic party.

    Can united states and its allies can help Ethiopia under similar circumstances? The answer is NO and NO because the West see its interest and do not care about other people, if not repressive government that promote the interest of the West. And Meles is the best subservient of recent Ethiopian history. For Meles, it is ancesterial and is is in his blood to betry Ethiopia as much as his grand father, Ato Asres,who was a BANDA for the Italians and was awarded the title of Degazmach by his Italian Masters but Ras Alula requested Minilik II to hang him on public place or put in prision for life. Minilik pardoned him and lived in Adwa until he died by syphillis.So boycotting the Ethiopian election may have little effect but not to the point of removing the regime. THE BEST SOLUTION IS TO INCITE CIVIL DISOBIDENCE BEFOR AND AFTER THE ELECTION NO MATTER WHAT THE COST COULD BE!!!

  5. aha!
    | #5

    Corrigendum: in the eight line replace for the cause of “unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians” with “ethnic agenda”.

  6. Tulu Oda
    | #6

    The writer clearly says that the voters at home are the ultimate authority to decide. He is in favor of taking part in voting provided there is no foul play by TPLF – in which case boycotting in a coordinated manner would be a powerful tool.

    Yes the people at home have shown extraordinary courage and the diaspora should respect them.

  7. Assta B. Gettu
    | #7

    Unauthorized prophecy from unauthorized prophet hurts than it helps.

    Fortune tellers have entertained both men and women of fortune seekers for a meager fee at various times and places.

    Fortune tellers are not that much different from false prophets, and their customers can be the poorest of the poor, the richest of the rich, and the most feared and respected kings, queens, prime ministers and their first ladies.

    At this crucial time of our Ethiopian history, neither the opposition nor the present Woyanne government clearly knows who is going to be the next prime minister of Ethiopia, and for this reason, it is obvious for Meles Seitanawi (Zenawi), who was one of the poorest of the poor, and now who is the richest of the rich and the most feared Prime Minister, to enquire some mediums, false prophets, and some fortune tellers about his chance of winning the 2010 National Election.

    “Tell me my fortunes by consulting the dead and call up the man I name to you,” said that very desperate King of Israel, King Saul, to a magician woman when he was surrounded by his arch enemies, the Philistines. King Saul wanted to consult a fortune teller, a sorcerer or a magician, a prophet or someone else to tell him whether he could win the battle or lose, and the right person to tell him what would happen to him when the battle started in the next day was Samuel the prophet; however, Samuel had been dead before the battle was started; he died when he was in bad terms with King Saul who failed to follow God’s commands and to listen to what the Prophet Samuel had told him to do.

    However, King Saul wanted to bring Samuel the Prophet back to earth from his grave, “so he consulted an Endorite woman, the remnant of such women whom Saul had almost eliminated from the land of Israel in accordance to God’s law in Deuteronomy 18:10-13, so he consulted this Endorite woman to bring him Samuel, the dead prophet, to life, and indeed she brought Samuel back to life, and “Samuel said to Saul, ‘Why have you disturbed me and brought me up?’ Saul answered, ‘I am in great trouble; the Philistines are pressing me and God has turned away; he no longer answers me through prophets or through dreams, and I have summoned you to tell me what I should do.’” And Samuel told Saul that God was against him and that tomorrow he (Saul) and his son Jonathan would be killed in the battle field and Israel would be defeated (1st Samuel 27:3-25).

    I think, as the 2010 Election Day is approaching, and the opposition is squeezing the Woyanne government in all directions, Meles is saying in great agony: “I am in great trouble; the Ethiopian Freedom Fighters, joined by Ginbot 7 and other organizations under the leaderships of Birhanu Nega, Silshi Tilahun, and Elias Kifle, are pressing me, and God no longer answers me through the Clergies, the Debteras, the Rabbis, the Imams, and even through the Patriarch Aba Paulos, and can some one tell me what I should do to win this election? I can pay millions of dollars for any person who could tell me my fortune to win or to lose this important Election.”

    Indeed, a desperate person like Meles Seitanawi can do any thing to declare himself as the winner of the 2010 Election: he, by chewing his chat, can consult the mediums, the fortune tellers, the false prophets, and the witchcrafts. We have many of them in Ethiopia as we have them here in the United States under the names of psyches.

    To Meles Seitanawi, this is one way of winning the election by consulting the witchcrafts or the mediums. The second way of winning the election, according to Meles, is simply by intimidating the voters and by brainwashing them to vote only for him. The third method of Meles’ winning the election is simply by bribing the voters and by promising them high-paying jobs and leadership positions after the election is over. His fourth method of winning the election is by keeping Birtukan Mideksa in jail until the election is over and his fifth method of becoming the Prime Minister of this great country is by rigging the votes as usual.

    Without using one of the above peripheral methods, there is no way that Meles will win the office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia this coming election. Therefore, whether he consults the spiritists, the fortune tellers, and the witchcrafts, he is in great trouble because the prophet Isaiah has clearly said: “When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” (8:19) He must confess all his sins, distribute half of his fortunes to the hungry Ethiopian children, and be accountable for the deaths of hundreds of Ethiopians on ግንቦት (May) 7, 2005 if he wants God to hear his prayer and fulfill his wishes – to be the Prime Minister of Ethiopia for the third time or to find a escaping route to one of those Arab-Muslim countries – which are always contrary to the rule of law and to the desires of the opposition – to run an election free of bribery, intimidation, witchcraft, and rigging.

  8. Assta B. Gettu
    | #8

    Election Day!

    The Election Day for the coronation of the most beautiful woman, Azeb Mesfin, wife of Meles Zenawi, is coming closer and closer as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, is getting weaker and weaker by the day due to his high blood pressure. He may recuperate sooner or later from his illness and again get sick and go back to the hospital of his own choice anywhere in the world.

    In this case, an ailing Prime Minister is not fit to govern 80 million sick and healthy, poor and rich, desperate and hopeful people; therefore, the candidate for the Prime Minister office will be, not should be, the most charming woman, Azeb Mesfin, who has never been seriously sick, who has never been absent from her exciting job, who has never been indicted for treason, who has never been caught cheating on her husband, who has never been negligent of taking care of her children and her country, who has never missed any official religious services, who has never been demonized by the common people of Ethiopia, and has never abused her power so far.

    By all accounts, is there any Ethiopian who has a better resume than this naturally gifted lady to be the next Prime Minister of Ethiopia?

    To completely avoid repeating the 2005 bloody election that has claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent Ethiopians, maimed, mutilated, blinded, and incarcerated many other Ethiopians, wouldn’t it be better to crown Azeb Mesfin to be our next Prime Minister, our leader, our care taker, and our protector and defender than to have another bloody Election Day?

    As far as Meles Zenawi, sick or healthy, insane or normal, good or bad, is in the office, there will never be a bloodless election in Ethiopia, a country accustomed to be ruled by successive brutal dictators, corrupt and immoral politicians.

    The UDJ has already lost the support of the majority of the Ethiopian people because of its internal power struggle and the short flow of money from the diaspora Ethiopians into its pockets. Its driving force, Ms. Birtukan Mideksa in jail, its members divided and weakened than ever before, its closer ties with the oppressive Woyanne regime officially recognized by most of the Ethiopians at home and abroad, and its leadership of organizing and recruiting new members thwarted, is not ready to run for the coming election, and if it runs under the strict supervision of the Woyanne government, it will not win; it may get five or six parliamentary seats for political reasons and just to say the election is fair and just.

    The other opposition parties that do not have any office in Addis Ababa will have a hard time to run for the election from outside of the country. The young generation doesn’t know them that much, and those who know them are either dead or in exile or in jail. This is the dilemma for the diaspora opposition party, and to be well prepared for the 3rd Election Day, the opposition party should boycott this coming election and stay home. The boycott will save thousands of lives from being slaughtered by the Ethiopian federal police force.

    Very concerned for the peace and order of the city of Addis Ababa, deeply saddened by the incidents of the previous election, and solely determined to ignore this coming unfair and undemocratic election, let us simply crown Azeb Mesfin as the next prime Minister of Ethiopia. She may have a different and a better agenda for the Ethiopian people than her husband’s; we may never know it until we see it in our own eyes. As they say: “It is better to have a familiar bad angel than to have an unfamiliar good angel,” let us encourage Azeb Mesfin to consider as the future Ethiopian head of state.

  9. አብዶ ስመድ ስይድ
    | #9

    ስላም ላግር ልጅ ፍታሪ ክናት ጋር ይሁነ መልካመ ባአል ይሆነላችሁ መኖቲ ነው

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