To EPRDF: Dissolve New Parliament (It is Legal !!!) Eskinder Nega (Addis Ababa.)

July 2nd, 2010 Print Print Email Email

The preparation for the elections in May 2010 was more than a year in the making in the PM’s office. Abay Tsehaye, once a fixture in popular imagination as one of several mystic leaders who were really running the EPRDF  behind the public persona of Meles Zenawi, but later to be demystified, publicly humiliated and now a grateful underling with a ministerial portfolio as national security advisor approached the PM’s office every morning with a judicious expression. Invariably, he was impeccably attired, and frequently held a thin folder in one of his hands. And for what time they deemed necessary, Abay had almost exclusive access (but not always) to the PM while he briefed him on an range of national security developments; but which, according to sources, often ended up being dominated by the approaching elections. Meles had insisted on preparing thoroughly for mass unrest, particularly in Addis; with a contingency plan even for an emergency evacuation of the palace. Tens of thousands of security personnel were trained and deployed in and around Addis; the latest vehicles and firearms purchased; and intelligence (both human and electronics) was beefed up. All part of a concerted effort “if possible, to deter; if not, to contain and crush riots.” Indeed, each stage of the plan had gone faultlessly; gratifying habitually worrying Meles. And they were all to be rewarded when Election Day came and went peacefully.

But what neither Meles Zenawi nor his security apparatus prepared for, nor foresee, was a party machine that was to deliver more than it was meant to (the 99 .6% “victory”) – a Pyrrhic victory that has shattered the moral foundation of the system.

Meles Zenawi approached the election by the book. He set a strategy: win the election by any means necessary. He afforded an efficient management: look no further than the tens of thousands of security personnel deployed with clockwork precision. He articulated a unique political vision: revolutionary democracy, as he eccentrically calls it. And he tried to establish a personality cult: women and youth were encouraged to wear t-shirts bearing his image. (Everyone stopped wearing them after the first day.)

What failed spectacularly, while he was busy elsewhere, was thejudgment of his party underlings. Their obtuse single-mindedness has pushed the system to the brink by giving it an electoral “victory” that could be believed by none. This illustrates the chronic lack of quality middle-rankers—the true believers— that is precariously dogging the EPRDF. In the hysteria that followed the 2005 elections, millions of new recruits were literally conscripted in to the EPRDF with no regard to standard recruitment guidelines. Many of them have moved up the ladder to middle ranking positions owing to superior education over long time members. There was an implicit, though not quite formally articulated, understanding to their mass enlistment: they will serve and they expect to be rewarded in return. It’s strictly a utilitarian relationship. And that is what essentiallyprevailed in this election. They were asked to deliver(by whatever means necessary); they did, and they expect to be rewarded. Beyond that, it’s for the real politicians to pick up the pieces.

The EPRDF leadership slyly recognizes that the absence of overt protests by the public is not an acknowledgment of the new status quo; which has palpably slammed the door on peaceful dissent in all but name. Neither does it need to be reminded of King Menelik, who after proclaiming one of his edicts inquired about the public’s reaction only to be told by thrilled aides that there were none, reportedly said, ‘ Ah, this means they are against it,’ to dramatize the public’s dangerously suppressed anger. This anger will sooner or later seek an outlet; it will not remain bottled up forever. And the indefensible “result” of the election has also fortuitously reduced the EPRDF grassroots—who, unlike the party’s top brass, live amongst thepeople— in to an emotional wreak. No one is winning from this election “result.” This is where the role of Meles Zenawi is imperative to thwart a looming disaster for his party and the nation. His domination of his party is no more simply intellectual. A bungled election has elevated it to an emotional level as well. The party grassroots look up to him to lead them out of moral wilderness. He should rise up to the call of leadership and foresight.

Here is a roadmap for the EPRDF out of the quandary: even with the specious legal wrangling over a re-run over, it’s still possible for the EPRDF to legally realize fresh elections within the coming six months. What is needed is only the political will—really the will of Meles Zenawi—to dissolve the new parliament in accordance with Article 60 of the Constitution.

Here is the Constitution in its own words:

Ethiopian Constitution: Article 60

Dissolution of the House

1. With the consent of the House, the Prime Minister may cause the dissolution of the House before the expiry of its term in order to hold new elections.

2. The President may invite political parties to form a coalitiongovernment within one week, if the Council of Ministers of a previous coalition is dissolved because of the loss of its majority in the House. The House shall be dissolved and new elections shall be held if the political parties cannot agree to the continuation of the previous coalition or to form a new majority coalition.

3. If the House is dissolved pursuant to sub-Article 1 or 2 of this Article, new elections shall be held within six months of its dissolution.

4. The new House shall convene within thirty days of the conclusion of the elections.

5. Following the dissolution of the House, the previous governing party of coalition of parties shall continue as a caretaker government. Beyond conducting the day to day affairs of government and organizing new elections, it may not enact new proclamations, regulations or decrees, nor may it repeal or amend any existing law. (End of Article.)

Sub Article 1 is evidently originally tailored for the enduring EPRDF strategy to hold on to power up to the last minute, and when on the verge of being overwhelmed negotiate within the confines of the Constitution. But whatever the Machiavellian intent of its framers may have been, it also gives both the PM and the EPRDF the legal framework to correct the present crisis brought about by the ridiculous margin of “victory”. They need to seize it and employ it to the advantage of the nation.

As is clearly stipulated in sub-Article 1, the PM can dissolve parliament by the consent of its majority for what ever reason he sees fit. And what better raison d’être than an election result discredited by even those who voted for the “winning” party. Only a simple majority is required for dissolution, not a two thirds super-majority. But even if the law had required a super majority, no doubt that EPRDF parliamentarians can be counted on to deliver every single vote required. Parliamentarians are expected to vote for the party line at all times. Unlike most democracies, conscience is belligerently discouraged from playing a role in how they vote. In fact, party teaching maintains that seats won under the banner the party belongs to the EPRDF; for it to use as it thinks best. A diversion is defined as a breach of contract between voter and parliamentarian. The penalty is a swift recall, as had once happened against Seye Abraha et al after their fallout with Meles Zenawi. Parliamentarians will challenge the ethos only at the certain peril of their political careers. Few will dare to tread on that path if the EPRDF leadership is to opt for a re-run. But in all likelihood, it is safe to assume that they are less than enthusiastic about joining a thoroughly discredited parliament and would welcome a fresh election that offer them some chance of being elected legitimately.

Once a vote of dissolution is carried out successfully, what willremain is fresh elections in accordance with sub-Article 3 within six months. Such an opening for the nation and the EPRDF, entirely withinthe legal and constitutional framework, something the EPRDF is adamant about, is what Meles should be encouraged to do by his true friends—his true local and international friends.

  1. Balcha Gebeyhu
    | #1

    Here we go again! With all due respect to Ato Eskinder, I am not convienced why one advocates another election when the one just concluded has been found to be neither open and fair nor free by any standard of measurements. What is more baffeling is the reason(s) provided for “disolving the new parliment”. In short, the margin of victory of TPLF/eprdf (96.4%) over the opposition was so high that even the low level cadres are unable to show or display their”joy” in public. Ato Eskinder has written a number of valueable articles, however, I failed to see why he wants to subject the captive citizens of Ethiopia through another “election”. Could it be to let a few of the “loyal” oppositions who recently lost the election back to the parliment? What is the acceptable margin of victory? 85 or 90% over the opposition?! Let us be clear with our message, advocating a re-run or disolving parliment only works if there is a leveling field before election…otherwise we end up misplacing and displacing the concepts and at best serve unknownly the power to be while appearing to uplift the already confused public. Please no more election w/o being free, fair and open.

  2. From Minnesota.
    | #2

    It is funy some of the people who urge Kinigit to boy cot Parliament five years ago are now urging EPRDF throw them some crumbs.
    You can have elections one hundred times over, unless all the rules of the game changes, the result will remain the same. In other words re-run the election means absolutely nothing until we have among other things independent election board, Independent judiciary, independent media (I am sure Ato Eskinder would love that),Independent Police, Teacher union,
    Workers union, Human right. The list is on and on. The point is we can strugle for those fundamental rights, and it is fair to say the West particularly the United States will hopefully in our side to make sure those rights are come to pass. If the U.S. speaks Meles have no option but to listen. After all his gevernment would be bankrubt if not for U.S.

  3. Anonymous
    | #3

    No comments needed here. Because everything has gone now. Just wait for another generation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Biri
    | #4

    —– Forwarded Message —-
    From: Biri Yaya
    Sent: Sat, 3 July, 2010 11:14:56




    As the the self-inflicted wounds are biting back at tyrant MZ’s miscalculation in securing 99.6% fake election outcome that has demystified any notion about the normality of the person and his mafia ruling group, the international community has taken note of the reality we have known from the beginning.
    The Western are tactfully resigned to dissociating themselves from the tyrant gradually while avoiding any markS of an obvious support.
    As a counter-balance, they have shifted towards trying if Isasias Afeworki could be ‘reasonable enough’ to earn some recovery.

    Tyrant MZ is in a make shift of forced smiles in the presence of the great and good even where it was obvious that he was not engaged in any communication with the person next to him.
    Deep down, MZ knows the cover has been blown off his long standing thesis that he has to have an unquestioned, no rooms for anybody else and total domination plan under the phrases, ‘Revolutionary democracy/Developmental state’ paradigms, if one could call them as such!

    Hence, it is my take that the exclusive fake victory was planned and was executed to be so by the tyrant to the last decimal points and there was no variation or deviation from MZ’s plan through slaughter and victimisation!
    That was what the EU observer mission meant by the lack of a level playing field in the run up to and in the execution of the already sealed bogus election outcome.
    That is why I am disappointed by people of ‘good intentions’ coming to the rescue of the tyrant by making it look like there was an element in the process that tyrant MZ did not know/approve of as Eskinder Nega seems to imply:

    ”But what neither Meles Zenawi nor his security apparatus prepared for, nor foresee, was a party machine that was to deliver more than it was meant”(

    What follows is no longer under MZ/TPLF/EPRDF control!
    MZ has repeatedly shown not only an inability to understand pluralism, but rather a complete disregard for anything approaching a meaningful engagement. His last insult was to send Prof Ephraim Isaac and his emergency trouble shooting partisans to threaten the opposition with imprisonment if they did not shut up or become emissaries of the single dictator/MZ’s command system.

    MZ’s G8/20 forced smiles show that the guy believes the delusional way can be sustained through the state of emergency and ‘total media control’, and by on-going repressions on the grounds.

    Therefore, Nega and others need to tread in the other areas of promoting discourses for the good of the nation instead of providing tacit supports for the tyrant and of using attention diversion methods(intentional or otherwise!!!!)!

    I suggest that we reactivate the ideals of the AFD/MEDREK that would lead to a mass movement for democracy and genuine national reconciliation.


  5. mateos
    | #5

    You ainn’t see nothing yet as to how far aiga jungle democracy could manipulate the Ethiopian people and its handlers donor countries. As ong Mathza/Abebe/Legesse/Melese and his boss Bereket Simon control the guns and media, then the humiliation of the Ethiopian people will continue for unforeable days!!!

  6. Anonymous
    | #6

    “A year in the making”—More like 35 years in the making. Woynes along Eritreans have been preparing for over thirty to forty years to take power and control and rob and kill Ethiopians after they helped their evil cousin Esayass separate from Ethiopia. And they have done just that. Marxist Meles never had a passion for democracy and never will. Meles changed his strategy after the fall of USSR and started his tactics to use US to get the help he needed to topple Mengestu. Meles won’t let the people he despise the most to have a chance to vote for their leaders. Haven’t we seen what Woyanes done five years ago in another fake election? They killed innocent people to stay in power and control the Ethiopian economy to get richer and richer by every minute. Every thing what Woyanes have been doing is Dictatorship and it is far, far away from Democracy. 2005 was a fake election and 2010 was a repeat of 2005. I am amazed how people got fooled by Meles thinking that there was going to be a real election under his watch–Haven’t we seen enough what Woyanes have done to Ethiopia and Ethiopians since they have taken power? Do they really seem a group of people that believe in one man one vote? I think not! Meles only understands force and must be brought down by force and face an International Justice Court for the crimes he has committed on Ethiopians and Somalians.

  7. Drama
    | #7


  8. aha!
    | #8

    Here is Eskiner Nega again pandering to the original secenario of Medrek with Medrek win or loose form a bi-cameral chamber of parliament as tplf/eprdf and Tigrai-Harena/fdd/efd(u)r, if the prime minister takes a face saving secenario instead of the demand for rerun for election based on the demand by KAEUP based on the evidences presented about the conduct and processes during the election. Does this kind of scenario has a backing by the silent majority of Ethiopians, who have been barred to vote freely under fair and free elections. Would the silent majority of Ethiopians rally around Eskinder’s point of view or the approach taken by KAEUP for a rerun of the election with the strictest implementation of the code of conduct agreement and the 8-point preconditions for fair and free election. Is Medrek adopting this scenario or is the opinion of the author?

  9. Tesema
    | #9

    As I read this article I kept wondering what Eskender has been consuming lately because I want to avoid such mind boggling poision. To demand Woyane dismiss its win is such a bizzare request that it defies logic. Next thing we know we should ask Meles and his friends throw themselves at the mercy of the court for all their criminal acts and while we are doing that we also demand that they return all the money that thay have stolen and stashed in foreign banks. It is not just Eskender wrote such a strange article but the fact that Abuigida printed it is the height of absurdity. Dear Abugida editors you are supposed to choose those articles that will help us understand the current situation in our country based on facts and plausable senarios not on some childish fantasy and insulting logic. Please spare us from this kind of insult to our intellegence and sanity.

  10. ጎርፉ
    | #10

    ቺግሩ ብዙ ሰወች የማይሆን ነገር ዪሆናል እያሉ ሲጠባበቁ አገሪቱ ከቀን ወደ ቀን ትንሽ በትንሹ እእተሸጠች ማልቁዋ ነው እነ መለስና ጠቅላላ የሚጠሉት ኢትዮጵያ የ ሚለውን ስም ብቻ ነው በረሃ ላይ በነብሩበት ጊዜ ትግራይ የኢትዮጵያ አካል አልነበረችም ሲሉ የነበሩ ሰዎች ናቸው ባላገሩም ዪሄን ተቀብሎ አብሮ ሲያነፈንፍ ነው የነበረው ከዚያ በሁዋል ቤተመንግስት ሲግባ ሁሉም ከኛ በላይ ኢትዮጵያዊ የለም እያሉ ዱብ እንቅ ሲሉ ዪስተዋላል አገሪቱን ትንሽ በትንሽ መቀወር ዪዘዋል ወገኔ ከዚህብላይ ምን ማስረጃ ሊገኝ ሰው ባይደንቃችሁ ከኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ መሃከ በውፍረት የሚሰቃየው የወያኔ ደጋፊ የሆነው የትግራይ ህዝብ ነው መፍትሄው አንድና አንድ ብቻ ነው

  11. azeb
    | #11


    Do you think, even remotely, that the silent majority will vote for AEUP (AAPO) under any circumstances or is it your imagination? Do you know Ethiopia by the way? You don’t see other political pragmatists bashing your organization (AEUP aka AAPO) at every turn of events, because they believe in your democratic right to campaign for your causes as you see it during elections. The strategy that you and your cohorts take is the same old strategy practiced for the last 40 years in Ethiopia. The result is failure of the democratic forces. Your back rubbing with TPLF will not get you any where. We have learned their ins and outs. They will not stand any other group challenging their authority and the benefits of authority that they are amassing at the expense of the Ethiopian people. You have no option except to compromise with all stake holders and forge some kind of memorundum of understanding to bring an effective change.

  12. mot
    | #12

    when i was frastrated about the election result that weyane win , i blame on oposition parties but a friend of mine dont worry this is the peoples choice so he told me that you know the people are abused not by weyane but when they raise by thier parents that is why minilike rule ethiopia while he dead for the last 16 yearsweyane and shaibia they are 5% of the popelation but still they are servive. So i ask him to my friend when did ethiopians be free from this people/?when all aportunists they call oposition that is our time. people need real chance even those who leaves in free land they are ignorant they respect you when you have money and education

  13. Abiy Ethiopiawe=አቢይ ኢትዮጵያዊ
    | #13

    ***ምሁራን ከሕዝቡ በፊት እናንተ ተግባቡ!!!***
    እነዚህ የኢትዮጵያ ጉዶች ጊዜው ሥልጣን ሰጥቷቸው ሰርቀውም ሆነ አጭበርብረው ምን አድርገው የሕዝቡን ድምፅ እንደቀሙ የገለማው ሕሊናቸው ያውቃል::ምን እንዳደረጉ እነሱ ብቻ ሳይሆኑ የዓለም መንግሥታት አውቀውታል ምንም እንኳን ለጥቅማቸው ሲሉ እየተንሾካሾኩ ጋጠ-ወጥነቱን እያሾፉ ቢሳለቁበትም::
    አዎ!የበሰሉ ፅሁፎች:የተባረኩ ልሳኖች:የተለያዩ መረጃዎች እና ትንታኔዎች ለኢትዮጵያ ችግሮች በመፍትሔነት ሲሞክሩ አመታት ተቆጥረዋል ::ከታሪክ እንደታየውም ሙከራዎቹ የተደረጉት በኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ላይ ብቻ ነው::ይሔው ታሪክ እንደሚያሳየን ሞካሪዎቹም መሳሪያ ሳይዙ አማካሪ ባለሙያዎችን ሳያስጠጉ ሕዝቡን አልወጉትም:አልገደሉትም:አላሰሩትም:አላወረዱትም::እናም ሁሉንም ዘዴዎችን አገራችን ኢትዮጵያ ሞክራለች;ዳሩ ግን አንዲት ብቻ ይቀራታል::
    ሕዝብን ፍፁም ሳይጨምሩና ሳያማክሩ ምሁራን ራሳቸው ብቻ የማንንም ተፅዕኖ ሳይቀበሉ የፖለቲከኞችን ፍቃድ ሳይጠይቁ;ተቃዋሚ እና ደጋፊ ሳይባባሉ የኢትዮጵያዊነትን ፍቅር ብቻ ይዘው ይህን የዋህ ሕዝብ ለመርዳት ምን መቅደም
    እንዳለበት እና መወያየት ብቻ ይቀራል::ይህ ካልሆነ እግዚአብሔር ለኢትዮጵያ የሚሠጣትን መና በፀሎት ልትጠብቅ ይገባል::እስከዚያው ድረስ የታሪክ ግዴታችንን እየተወጣን የባለድግሪዎችን ምክር እንስማ ጥረታቸውንም እንይ:የኔንም::ከአንዱ የሥነ-ግጥም ጓደኛዬ ያገኘሁትን መጥፎ እና መልካም የሰሩትን የታሪክ ሥራ ተጠያቂዎች እናንብ::ወደ እኛ የኢትዮጵያችን ታሪክ እያመሳከርን::

    When all has been tried, nothing being a mystery, (election 2002)
    How are we expected to appreciate history? (cheating exposed )
    The most brilliant minds that came before us.
    The teachers, our heroes, and always the infamous.
    Einstein, Tesla and Salvador Dali,
    Allowing every sense to make a decision
    Never lose sight of your personal vision.
    Will it ever be equal?
    We don’t need anymore sequels.
    Why so politically correct?
    Say what you mean you’ll earn more respect.
    The police shoot first, with little concern.
    When will these bullies actually learn?
    What are the new taboos?
    Doesn’t anyone have a thing to lose?
    “Not the Heros,not the Kings but the People is the moving part of History.”
    So,intellectuals Please…Please…come together to one point first!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Anonymous
    | #14

    #12, you need a new well informed friend. The one you got right now is a total idiot and he is taking you down with him.

  15. aha!
    | #15

    Azeb! The only political forces that are in stark contrast with TPLF/eprdf ideology are those of the positive forces of integration such as KAEUP, EDP and others currently participating in the election and others acting as organization embracing the goals for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians under liberal and/or ssocial democracy/ideology. Your side is on the opposite side of the spectrum aligned implicetley with TPLF/eprdf on ethnic agenda and claimining themeslves as pro democracy movements instead of political and economic freedom movements to liberate the individual from ethnic and secessionist politics and policies of divide and rule, with ethnic boundreries, ethnic fedreralism by major languages instead of state boundries and state fedreralism, which may even include Eritrea to join afresh, are seting the clock backwards to the 19th century. You are underestimating the intelligence of the silent majority of the Ethiopians, given the ability to decide under fair and free elections. You do not have to condemn my idea to prove you side of the story, but present the positive aspect of TPLF/eprdf and its mirror images and the liberation movements of their positive contribution to Ethiopian Nationalism and Ethiopian National Interest. It is good you act as a osunding board for the indefesible factions, when you are not even representing them, but it makes it easier to make my points clearer.

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