The farce of an election – By kalkidan
The coming election of Ethiopia 2010 will not be fair under the current political situation of the EPRDF. Harassing, questioning, and arresting people are in progress due to unwillingness to leave power in a democratic way.
Some in the international community naively view the 2010 election as an opportunity. But, Ethiopians know better and they will not sacrifice the democratic principles for which millions have marched and thousands have been arrested, tortured and killed for just to participate in a process that holds no hope whatsoever for bringing freedom and true democracy to a deeply traumatized nation. As we seen it before, election 2010 is a mask for misleading the west to wrong view.
That being said, the international community, specially the west can play a genuinely constructive role to change a catastrophe in Ethiopia. First of all, the international community needs to stop accepting the fear mongering by a tribal dictator that has been playing the cheap and tired game of ethnic politics. For more than 18 years, Meles has tried to divide the Ethiopian people along ethnic and religious lines, exploiting fears and pitting groups against one another because that is the only way he can maintain his grip on power. As “we can’t choose our ethnicity” Ethiopians understand that they need to have a good relationship and coexist in peace and mutual respect with each other in a diverse multi-ethnic society. They refuse to live in fear and insecurity and turn against each other no matter how hard the dying regime of Meles Zenawi keeps trying.
Regarding this kind of political situation there could no level playing field for the opposition in the country. Unless the situation changes dramatically in the next few months, I do not expect the 2010 election will be fair, free or democratic. The first step in correcting the current situation is by appointing well trained election officers to different levels of the election administration. As we know from our past experience the general election board, which is supposed to be independent, is under the pocket of the ruling party.
EPRDF determined not to allow any other political organization which could compete against it in the country to participate freely. It is under these circumstances that the Meles regime is getting ready to hold another sham election, primarily intended, to place a veneer of legitimacy on itself while side stepping the glaring fact that Ethiopia is a shattered, poverty-stricken country on the verge of implosion due to the regime’s destructive economic policies and its use of egregious oppression to maintain its ethnic dictatorship at the expense of the lives of millions of Ethiopians.