Ethiopian Opposition Alliance Takes Step Toward Becoming a Single Party. – By William Davison ( Bloomberg )

July 30th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

A coalition of Ethiopian opposition parties will take steps toward becoming a single party by forming a front, said Negasso Gidada, co-deputy chairman of the so-called Medrek alliance.

The change will result in the opposition group having “one general assembly, one center, one leadership and one long-term strategic policy paper that is binding for all parties,” Negasso said in an interview today from the capital, Addis Ababa. Negasso is also deputy chairman of the Unity for Democracy and Justice and a former president of Ethiopia.

Members of the alliance will meet tomorrow to discuss the changes, said Merera Gudina, a deputy chairman of Medrek.

“People want unity, people are opposed to fragmentation,” Merera said. “It gives them hope to challenge the regime and its lies.”

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front and its allies won all but two of the 547 seats in the Horn of Africa country’s parliament in May elections. Medrek obtained one seat.

A European Union election observer mission said in a May 25 report the vote did “not meet certain international commitments.”

A Medrek front would create a “strong challenging organization” for local and city administrations elections that take place in two years time, Negasso said. Medrek is in “informal discussions” with some of Ethiopia’s 79 registered parties about joining the front, he said, without providing details.

  1. Mogesie
    | #1

    I see something good in this article and also something bad.
    First the good:
    This is the first time I hear the opposition wanting and deciding to prepare, organize, and work towards winning the next local and regional elections way ahead of the election month as they used to do in the past.
    The bad:
    The opposition again have it wrong. Why rush to become a Front or even a united party? In my view there is no need to form a front now. This is not its time. I understand that the fight to day is to get rid of Woyane’s regime, but that can not be achieved just by becoming a Front. Haven’t we learned from the past?

  2. aha!
    | #2

    What is another facelift of the loose coalition, which at the time of the formation the loyalist opposition parties of Of OFDM and ONC merged to gether to to consolidate their goals for ethnic, right and respect for human rights, while the leader of Tigrai-Harena became Cairman of the coalition and The UDJP leader became the vice chairman of the coalition. Since then different faces have shown up in both the coalition and UDJP,with perhaps with a subset of goals for democracy, human rights and institutionalize the rule of law as lately became apparent, where the former is stuck with ethnic-based agenda and platform and the late infiltrated from TPLF/eprdf party as members are climbing to the top. Having lost with their fomer party structure as Medrek or the would be Tigrai Harena/fdd/efd(u)r, a mirror image of TPLF/eprdf party in its attributes with ethnic-based agenda and platform by competeing for votes in the Amhara and Tigrai Kills for Medrek from KAEUP and EDP and others who had a directly contasting stance with TPLF/eprdf regime with regards to the goals for unity and territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians with the liberal democracy, and have been engaging the regime in several fronts.

    It was understood, Medrek is one party in the same way the colition in Kinjit was one party but failed to merge and sign on as a single party after the election, I presume. The unity, talked about so often, even among the parties in its present condition need to merge as if forming a bisiness under the same goals that is prevalent in the pro democracy movement for democracy, human right, and institutionalize the rule of law as a subset for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, which nevertheless fails to meet the target.

  3. hailuy
    | #3

    zenawi is pissing on the people and on the so called oppsition. It is a shame to be in the opposition camp. most of them seem to take their abuse with out a complaint. Why on earth are they in opposition only to be kicked around like a punching bag.

    Most of the opposition seem to blinded by single issues or local issues and do not have a strategic vision which is all inclusive or unifying.

    Have the opposition learnt anything from the past?

    would they be able to learn anything at all?

    Do they have the brain to move away fron single local issues and to plan for a lasting long term plan for the whole people of Ethiopia?

    Do they know who the real enemey of Ethiopia is, if so why do the squabble among themselves?

    Are their personal differences greater than the differences they have with meles zenawi and his puppets., if not why do they dwell on personal differences and petty issues.

    Do the oposition have a vision for the Ethiopian people?

    What is their vision and how do they wish to achieve it?

    Why are the opposition pre-occupied with their own personal ambitions?

    Each and every person who is in the opposition has to ask himself / herself why they are in politics, what do they want to do for the Ethiopian people and not for themselves.

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    “Askedimo mamesgen lehamete yashegiral” The murderer Woyanes came to take power in the name of “UNITY” fooling other ethnic Ethiopians to fight with them to get rid of Mengestu; now, we all are witnessing what is happening in Ethiopia…Ethiopians are being held as hostages, jailed, tortured, killed, robbed, their freedom of speech and press denied and their lands taken away from Ethiopians and given to foreigners by the same group who promised “UNITY”. It is a welcome news to hear the unity of all opposition party, at the same time we need to examine the true nature of their unity and examine it very carefully. Some hate Ethiopia and Ethiopians so much to the point of not to even to speak and write in Amharic. I hate to spoil the party, but we need to be cautiously optimistic about this unity. By any means Woyanes need to be removed and real DEMOCRACY need to be introduced.

  5. Anbese
    | #5

    Ethiopian never ever to see, hear any oposition Parties in sitting the fake Wenbede weyane Parlament Hall.
    If any of them will be coordinating to be the weyane Bride-mate pretending as oposition Party and sitting in the Bloody Stlinism Parlament, We are condemning, fightting them at all as the member of the Fascist Weyane party member.

    Long Live Ethiopia!!!

  6. Anonymous
    | #6

    Aha and Anonymous,

    Did you not learn that Amharas alone cannot bring any change? It is also the right of others not to fall to Amharas political agenda. That is called democracy, and it must be excericed in the ballot box. If you are not ready to speak in other’s language don’t expect others to speak your language. after all Amharic was not given as a national language by God. It was the Amhara political establishment that made it so some 50 years ago. Whether you like it or not it can remain a national language only if other languages are given the same status. Other wise it will remain a local language in the next few years.

  7. Azeb
    | #7

    Aha and Anonymous,

    This political alliance does not include AAPO (AEUP, but they have been invited to join if they so wish. They have a political platform upon which they campaign if and when an electoral process is conducive for democratic elections. You can also formulate your platform and campaign on those platforms if you believe you have followers outside your enclaves. That is called democracy and your demagogory does not have any value for non-Amharas.

  8. Azeb
    | #8

    Dear editors,

    If you are posting Aha’s opinions whose anti-Oromo and Oromo poltical organziations is well known, then you should also post contrary opinions of Aha’s. If you are not, you are burrying your neck in the sand for complete biase. I will do all I can to let others know what is going on.

  9. Sebsibe
    | #9

    In my opinion, the only way that this coalition will work is when, as a precondition, all oposition parties agree to dissolve their own parties
    before they join the coalition. This is the only way that they can demonstrate that they have Ethiopia and its people at heart instead of their own political ambitions.

  10. #4 Anonymous
    | #10

    #6 Anonymous,
    I never said I am an Amhara. I am a well divers Ethiopian. Yes, I only speak Amharic and I understand a little bit of Oromo. I came from a family of (by blood and marriage) Amharas, Guragaes, Oromos, Tigreas, and Eritreans, and members of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Evangelical Christians and even Muslims. My mother’s God child is also from Gambela. So, #6, I am not like you who is stuck in tribalism and full of hate. It is my sincere wish for every Ethiopian to live with peace and harmony, with utmost respect for one another. If we wish the same peace that we wish for ourselves and our family…to all human beings, we can achieve the PEACE we desire. Otherwise, the ill wish that we desire for others, can come back and hunt and hurt us. When you hate so much to destroy others, then you destroy yourself and your loved ones in the process.
    Since, the most majority of Ethiopians communicate in Amharic…I don’t understand why a few among us refuse to communicate and write in Amharic and chose to use Latin Alphabets. Ethiopia is the only country in Africa that has its own Alphabets…not only Ethiopians even the rest of Africa should be proud of that history. Anyhow, I am grateful to the Almighty God, that he has given me a heart of free of hate.

    “imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”
    James A. Baldwin

  11. Enna
    | #11

    I am sorry to sat it. These people are not yet politically matured. They should know that there is no difference between Medrek and Ginbar. Are they fooling us or themselves or they do not know what they are doing.
    First of all they should believe in change. If they believe in change then the first step they should take is to dismis their existing parties. Means they have to throw away the names they have know and become one part with a different name and with an ideology. The idealogy they should follow as to me must be a social democracy which involves all ethiopians as an individual not as a group. They should strengthen civic associations, labour and professional unions.
    They can be called a labour party or a social democrat party or a socialist party, or republican party. No name by Gossa, Zer or Biher. Throw away this old fashion political arrangement.
    The Ethiopian people is now know very well about Zer. We donot want to here about yezer party. We want ideology.

    Lelissa.

  12. Enna
    | #12

    I agree with you. I heard that an Ethiopian Labour party is on the way to formed. Their main goal is to work for Ethiopian workers. I do not have more information about it but we may here a new party with ideology emerging soon.

  13. ENNA
    | #13

    You said,
    1) all oposition parties must agree to dissolve their own parties
    before they join the coalition.
    2) they must demonstrate that they have Ethiopia and its people at heart instead of their own political ambitions.
    CORRECT SEBSIBE!!!

    ENNA

  14. Azeb
    | #14

    #4 Anonymous,

    Thanks for your immature and irrational lecture. You tell me that I am filled with hate. If I am, it is because I have been taught by you, your parents and the Woyane. We should have been bold enough to change the landscape of Ethiopia just a century ago as our grand parents had the opportunity to do so. They succumbed to goddness of heart not knowing the ugliness of their neighbour. Our poltical leaders were talking loud, but acting like cowards just few years ago that allowed the Woyanes to make fun of us. No we don’t hate, but we are detremined to correct the wrong and make it right. You can take your Amharic to the rest of Africa, but we have seen experienced its domineering effect. Did you know that Ethiopia is the only country in Africa which picked up a language of a minority and imposed it as a national language on others with out their consent?

  15. aha!
    | #15

    To add to my earlier comment, ignoring the noises from Azeb 1 and Azeb 2, the other contributing factoror to to the political crises in Ethiopia is liberation movement of OLF and ONLF adding fuel to aleady prevalent of TPLF and EPLF movements of the student socialistic revolution leaning towards the oppression of the nationalities insead of the class struggle, which gave rise to ethnic based politics than class struggle still persisting even after they were endowed with ethnic rights and the rights to cessation upto self-determination and partitionening of Ethiopia into major ethnic groups. The second one of which is yet unfulfilled gave rise to the armed struggle by OLF and ONLF, based in Asmara to cessede from ones own organic entity called Ethiopia, which Oromo and Amhara are the roots and stems of a sequoia tree and the others as the big and small branches of the same tree. What a formidable task of an uphill battle of dismantling Ethiopia by serving as negative forces along the path institutionized and constitutionalized path of TPLF/eprdf regime. What these supporters of the negative forces of disintegration should know, the positive forces of restoring the Ethiopian Nationalism, Ethiopian National Interests and freedom of all (the silent majority) of Ethiopians is the genuine responsibility of Ethiopians from all ethnic groups, who were brought up educated and trained abroad upon the tax payers of Ethiopians at home and grnts on behalf of the same tax payers. To render support to the negative forces of disintegration as the saying goes in Amharic” yebebeten idge indemegures yemibalewin yimeslal. If the oppression of the nationalities has been removed with the downfall of the monarchy, which is unsubstantiated. What came after that is ethnic and secessionist politics of divide and rule politics and policies in an Italian colonial style, which has no place in Ethiopia, if the country has to advance as democratic soiety based on free individuals to to develop the country as one nation in the 21st centrury with the ideology of feudalsitic system of 19th century, bearing the high sounding name of Ethnicfederalism instead of of Federates States of three or more ethnic groups in each state.

  16. aha!
    | #16

    Sebisibe has hit the nail on the head, when he set the condition for forming a new party, without abandoning their individual party agenda or goals. However they may want to unite under the same goals within the existing coalition of parties, it makes sense to merge under the same goals and/platforms. The fact they have added the term front in front of Medrek, the acronym of which is fdd forum for Democratic dialogue, with added with f added to it becomes fddf which is equivalent to eprdf, if the do not shed the ethnic agenda and wear the goals for achieving democracy, protecting human right and institutionalizing the rule of law, which is subset of Unity, Territorial Integrity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians with liberal and/or social democracy. Even if the merge under those goals, it sounds like as the Ethiopian saying goes, “yekotun awerd bila yebibtuan talech yemibalewing yimeslal” or the westerners put it it is like putting the cart before the horse, because you can not bring about changes while the current regime is in power by stipulating on reforming the current regime with the above mentioned goals, to say the least not knowing the strategies to be adopted.

  17. Anonymous
    | #17

    Azeb, it seems you have also a mission to change the national language of the world to Mandarin. You have proven yourself to have a backward mentality of tribalism–the incurable disease of African continent.
    Just because the rest of Ethiopians speak in Amharic, Amhara people haven’t gain much or treated better by any Ethiopian leader, as Meles has done for his ethnic group of people in Tigrea province. It is obvious that, you believe Haile Selassie was from Amhara and had done a lot for Amhara provinces. To begin with, Haile Selassie was not 100% Amhara, and truthfully, he did a lot less for Gojam, Gonder and wollo than other provinces. Do you even have a clue, during Haile Selassier, how many Amharas had been thrown in prison and some even hanged to death. Amharas have been used unfairly by every ethnic group and used as an excuse to divide and control Ethiopia as woyanes, Eritreans and OLF have been doing. Try to live without hate and free your mind from Woyanes and Eritreans propaganda that is created to divide Ethiopians. I suggest you read the real history of Ethiopia, instead of a made up history that have been written to confuse, dismantle and rob Ethiopia.
    Democracy: one man, one vote. In Democracy there is no such thing as the majority and ethnic group. The African American–Obama would have never become the president of the Super Power of the World, if people think and believe as you do, thank God, for that. If believing in real Democracy makes me “immature” as you labeled me, then so be it.

  18. Mark
    | #18

    Mr. Aha,

    pls. can you tell me when and how the name Ethiopia came to existence and how the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia was established, and how Amahric language become national language of Ethiopia? The myth and confusion that surrounds and the crisis the very name Ethiopia has been generating, pls. based on facts. I appreciate,
    Thanks.

  19. Mark
    | #19

    Mr./madam editor,
    I wonder where on earth you want us to practice freedom of speech? Derg and woyannes had been and have been restricting our God given right of freedom of speech. Why do want to restrict anyone for that matter? The readers and the public should decide what is right, what is not. Are you a journalist or political pundit?
    Pls, give us space to breath.
    I appreciate your attention.

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