Democracy and its Trade-off: Ethiopia’s Path to National Reconciliation By Messay Kebede

February 13th, 2014 Print Print Email Email

In many of my previous articles, even as Meles Zenawi was in absolute control of the country, I have defined the creation of a government of national reconciliation as the best roadmap both for the easing of some of Ethiopia’s socio-economic problems and initiating the construction of a democratic future. My assumption was then that Ethiopia could benefit from Meles’s dream of grandeur: had he taken the initiative of creating a genuine government of reconciliation, he would have marked history in a way similar to Nelson Mandela. The purpose of this article is to confirm that the proposal is still relevant.

Before I go further, there is one basic hurdle that needs to be removed. Every time I propose a government of national reconciliation, I face two different objections. Some pity my naivety and demolish my proposal with a heavy blow of realism by asking, why would the ruling elite invite the opposition parties when it feels strong in the face of a weak and divided opposition? Others tell me that my position does no more than side with the ruling party by throwing cold water on the struggle to remove the EPRDF which, they say, is beyond redemption.

Parties and groups advocating and actually carrying out armed struggle to dislodge the ruling party are entitled to ridicule my proposal. Their rejection is in perfect accord with their view of the TPLF as a party fundamentally hostile to Ethiopia’s interests. However, those parties and groups that champion non-violent form of struggle should refrain from adopting the same stand. Most of them work with the belief that democratic elections are the only means to bring about real change in Ethiopia. As a result, they expect the EPRDF to hand over power in the case they win the majority of parliamentary seats.
This expectation is, for me, the apex of political gullibility: there is nothing more unlikely than a party as sectarian, suspicious, and panicky as the TPLF surrendering power peacefully. The best that elections can achieve, in the remote case that they are relative democratic, is the possibility for the opposition to participate in political life as a minority party. If election cannot achieve the removal of the ruling party, then my proposal looks rational and realistic for the reason that it is a win-win alternative that ruling elite and opposition parties can bring to life with a little dose of realism and good faith.

Consider for one moment the political situation in today’s Ethiopia. It is ruled by an incompetent, mediocre, self-serving, and divided group. For a short time, I speculated together with other observers that Haile Mariam Dessalegn may try to implement a less repressive policy providing the opposition with some space for political expression. In effect, we saw some signs of reduced repression, for example the lifting of the ban on political demonstrations. We expected the next logical step, which should have been the freeing of unjustly jailed political prisoners. This next step did not come about; instead, the new prime minister saw his power curtailed by the unconstitutional addition of two deputy prime ministers whose obvious assignment is to make sure that decisions never divert from the wishes of the hegemonic party, namely, the TPLF. Though divided around different personalities, the TPLF still shows a remarkable determination to retain its hegemonic position at all costs. Consequently, even the baby steps toward relaxing repression are now reversed under various lame excuses. The outcome is a government without vision whose main purpose is to maintain the status quo through a weakened prime minister. I see no other reason for the violation of the constitution by the addition of deputy prime ministers than the fact that the new prime minister is not Tigrean.

The situation can only be described as a deadlock; it is moving neither forward nor backward. The only thing that can happen in a stalemate is a steady deterioration of the situation, with more and more Ethiopians becoming alienated and angry. Despite its illusion, this mediocre government, whose only expertise is corruption and repression, cannot stop this deterioration by itself. Deepening crises and finally popular uprisings are inevitable. And yet, though I energetically oppose the present government, I do not wish for the explosion of a generalized uprising. Not only I fear chaos, but also I am not convinced that the overthrow of this government will bring about democracy.

What I see, on the contrary, is either an uncontrollable irruption of violent social unrests exasperated by the government’s bloody repression or another form of dictatorship and revengeful policy against members of the ruling elites, their protégés, and those people perceived as ethnic foes, in the case where the present government collapses. I just don’t picture how democracy can come into being and grow on a soil poisoned by so much hostility, mutual suspicion, and exasperated ethnic divisions––some exhibiting secessionist tendencies––not to mention the abyssal divide between the haves and the have-nots. To direct this perilous situation toward a democratic process, Ethiopia needs a leader of the stature of Mandela, a condition that cannot be fulfilled any time soon.

The coming elections, some might say, could be a way out. Such is actually the expectations of all those opposing parties that have accepted the constitution and a non-violent approach. Unfortunately, even if the opposition does well in elections, the outcome will be a repeat of the 2005 election. I cannot picture the ruling party conceding even a modest place for the opposition in a political atmosphere where any gain of the opposition, however small, is perceived as having ominous consequences for the ruling elites. Let us not forget that what unites members of the ruling party is not shared appreciation, but survival, which is their only goal. So long as the ruling party is terrified by the prospect of losing power because it believes that the loss would certainly translate into a campaign of revenge and repression, this party cannot be expected to play fair in elections.

If popular uprisings or violent overthrow of the government are undesirable and elections are ineffective and if, on the other hand, there is a stalemate, what is then the way out? We must take here the bull by the horns and find a solution with a win-win outcome. I believe the formation of a government of national reconciliation to be such solution. It means a political arrangement in which the ruling party and the opposition parties participate, it is true unequally, in the same government. Obviously, the solution is not an ideal one, but it has the advantage of being affordable and, more importantly, of warding off dreadful consequences for everybody.

To the question of why it is the affordable solution, my answer has various facets. The one facet is that my proposal is logical or rational in that it is the only path that guarantees a win-win outcome for everybody. The process initiates a situation where the ruling elite is protected from all revengeful policy because it retains an appreciable power and the opposition can pressure for a change of policy that eases the glaring mistakes of the regime. In particular, the opposition gains the opportunity to freely organize without fear of repression. Because power is shared, it cannot be used to eliminate opponents. I add that there is no other way for the components of the EPRDF to lift the burden of the TPLF hegemony than to call for a government of reconciliation. The presence of opposition parties will force the TPLF to be more attentive to their viewpoints in order to prevail: their support becomes crucial and hence negotiable.

Doubtless, attempts to create governments in which ruling and opposition parties work together have failed in many countries. The reason seems obvious to me: many of these attempts were either imposed by patron countries or the existing government was in a weak position and needed to buy time to regain strength. The recent remarkable achievement of Tunisia confirms that a genuine willingness to include the opposition is the only way of moving toward a democratic path. After a bumpy road marred by assassination of opposition leaders followed by massive protests, the Tunisian prime minister announced the formation of a new government of technocrats. The decision was a clear concession to the secular and leftist oppositions whose main demand was the change of the pro-Islamist dominated government. This momentous concession led to the signing of a new constitution committed to a secular state and guaranteeing basic freedom and gender equality. “The constitution,” the assembly speaker said, “without being perfect, is one of consensus.” Contrast this outcome with that of Egypt: the refusal of the Morsi government to include the opposition in the political process despite large and violent protests demanding unity government only led to the ousting of the Islamist government by the military, which is but a serious setback in the democratization process.

Two major lessons can be drawn from the Tunisian experience. 1) There is no democracy without compromise with the opposition. The Leninist version still practiced by many African countries, including Ethiopia, and according to which democracy is the violent silencing of the “enemies of the people,” is diametrically opposed to the simple fact that democracy means the acceptance of participation in the political system of all those who have different programs from the ruling party. This same requirement applies to the opposition as well: opposing the government cannot mean the political exclusion of the ruling party by means of election or armed struggle under pain of adopting the Leninist version of democracy. 2) In the case of Ethiopia, which is entangled in the far more serious ethnic embroglios, the feasible solution is a government of national reconciliation, which government only works under the condition that all those concerned and especially the TPLF make the necessary concessions by themselves, that is, without external intervention. If it is imposed or accepted reluctantly, it will undoubtedly fail. As attested by the Tunisian case, the willingness to make it work must be equally present in all the parties. By will I understand a strong commitment emanating from well-thought out interests by all concerned, especially long–term interests. Simply put, it is a choice between dictatorial power––the severe downsides of which are blockage of development in all aspects of life and uncertainty with the constant danger of popular rebellion––and democracy with the promises of stability and the unleashing of the creative forces of the country. That is why I say it is a rational position.

I add that, on top of securing protection against revengeful policy, the TPLF can find another opportunity, no more to rule Ethiopia exclusively, but to become the patron of its democratization, a role that can be construed as a corrected continuation of the sacrifices paid to defeat the Derg. The perception by the people of the TPLF as a patron and protector of democracy is not only how it dissolves the popular resentment accumulated during two decades of repressive policy, but also how it acquires authority, as distinct from brute force, which authority can easily be used to build popular support within and outside Tigray.

A government of national reconciliation is by definition transitional; its main task is to create mutual confidence, realize some common goals achieved through consensus, define clearly the duties and rights of all participants, and ensure their protection by established institutions. Moreover, each time the government stumbles against a contentious issue that seems irreconcilable, it refrains from making any final decision. Instead, it agrees to put the matter to a popular vote as soon as conditions for fair debates and voting permit. How long this government of national reconciliation will last should also be a matter of agreement.

It follows that the immediate task of the government is not to organize elections; rather, it is to prepare the conditions of fair elections. To rush to elections without establishing the appropriate condition, especially the creation of an atmosphere of mutual confidence, is to invite the fear of “winner-take-all.” Elections must be organized only when all involved feel confident enough to no longer fear repression and revenge and when the country shows some sign of real development, not only for the few, but also for the many so that people see what is at stake when they cast their vote. The purpose of reconciliation is to create the hope for a better future for all involved and to get out of the present system in which the gains of some are built on the mistreatment of others.

  1. Dany
    | #1

    Please accept my greatest respects as usual .
    I feel so proud that such profound and World class intellecutals whose analysis is based on rationality rather than emotion are participating in such public discourse at this moment of truth .
    God bless you and yours .

  2. derbi kejela
    | #2

    TPLF and all its runningdogs must be burried.
    They have to pay a big price for what they have done .
    So Mr. Messay do please stop your preaching. We do not need your usless lammentaion and wishfulthinking.
    Mind you, the military junta was eliminated by Westerers during the end of the cold war.
    That is it. Ethiopia will be free.
    We shall avenge. Shabia and TPlf have no way out. They will be burried alive with their Bantustan apartheid system of government in the Ethiopian soil. As it had happend in South Africa it will be done in Ethiopia.

    Ethiopia shall prevail.

  3. dodo
    | #3

    Prof. Messay is here, there, and everywhere in the hope that one of his ideas will stick. Better to confine oneself to one’s calling i.e to philosophical discourse

  4. Eleni Zaude Gabre-Madhin
    | #4

    We are going further away from having any democracy or for that matter a united one nation. The free market or capitalist economic system is being disolved in a fast pace right now. For example vegetable farmers near Nazret(Adama)cannot move around to other parts of Ethiopia and sell their products at any market they wish per Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegn. This is a complete strategy which is returning the country to a pre 1991 economic system. The Hailemariam Desalegn adminstration is working hard to set the country back to stone age, with no hope for freedom and growth. For any nation’s democracy to flourish the people need to be able to have hope for a brighter future. Currently we are seeing the adminstration working hard to put out the little democratic light that was lit by the former Prime Minster’s adminstration and calling it reconciliation. What Ethiopia needs right now is to discourage unconstitutional activities.The government need to stop discourageing farmer’s from their constitutional right of competing in any market to sell their products.

  5. Dawi
    | #5

    Tunisia is lower middle income. That means many folks have a larger stake in the system.

    IMO, we probably need to reach middle income to contemplate Messay’s “National Reconciliation”. I am sorry to say but, Messay goes back and forth in his thoughts and frankly speaking, I am sick and tired of his WISHY-WASHY stand on how to deal with Meles/EPRDF.

    If my understanding of Lencho Leta, the former OLF is correct, I suggest Messay should do the same. Go back home and contribute to the democratization process with no demands.

    Hold the “National Reconciliation” horse for the time being.

    Cheers!

  6. WSLF
    | #6

    Mr. Messay, ‘
    Your article is well written and to the point on many areas; however, while you are talking about democracy, in essence the genuine participation of people in its daily saying that does not exist in its full definition in the world, you are always illustrating from the one sided group, those who come from unitary state and neglected the majority of Ethiopian people dubbed in your language secessionist. To be honest, in this era of globalization, secessionist does not have a room ; consequently, you should include the rest of Ethiopia to true sense of democracy in your analysis. Moreover, I recalled the martyr of EPRP had fought to be inclusive and paid a huge price in their strategies and tactic to overthrow the dictator regime of Derg , you are part of it.
    All in all, at this time we are really polarized in Diaspora and a certain group like Lencho had given up and headed to home after Meles was gone will be brought lasting solution to our political crisis. We, Ethiopia Somalis, are advocating that true democracy will arrive in Ethiopia as Tunisia when a person in your caliber will be inclusive in pen let alone in human .

  7. okidoki
    | #7

    “It follows that the immediate task of the government (government of reconciliation) is not to organize elections; rather, it is to prepare the conditions of fair elections.”

    That statement is a valid one. However, the rational leading to it is flawed and is not feasible.

    Inorder to have condusive conditions for far election, the key is in identifying the threats the regime percieves from the opposition, specially those with links to previouse regimes.

    The current regime has stablished a new political reality, which is irreversible: the empowering of ethnic identities. The regime can not work with parties who are ideologically contrary to the new reality of empowered ethnic identity in Ethiopia.

    So, it is imperative for the regime to work only with opposition parties that value the empowered ethnic identities, anything else will be suicidal to the regime and the political community called Ethiopia.

    Dr Messay’s assessment of the reality of the present Ethiopia’s political dynamics lackes the major shift that has taken place in the past 23 of ethnic identity empowerment. Simply put: the givens/assumptions have changed fundamnetally in Ethiopia. Its no longer just about democracy, it is also about the transformed Ethiopia: from a losely diverse nation, into a clearly defined multi-ethnic political community.

    Reconciliation has to take into consideration the new muti-ethnic Ethiopia. The regime will most likely compromise with parties who are not a threat to the constitutional pillars, and not with the anti-conatitionalists.

  8. okidoki
    | #8

    Sorry for spelling erros. It was typed on a mobile phone (small screen, small keyboard).

  9. Nathan
    | #9

    Prof. Messay,
    I want to begin by thanking you for your relentless endeavor to illuminate us on issues of national significance with respect to planting the seeds of democracy on a fertile ground in our polity. But I beg to differ with your suggestions this time. My critique of your take is not novel: as you rightly suggested it is informed by political realism. You desire to rebut a realist’s critique for your call to a national government of reconciliation by pointing out two important facts: a) popular uprising is inevitable because HMD’s Gov’t is incapable of dealing with the series of crises facing the country; and b) other coalition members of EPRDF (namely OPDO & ANDM) desire to end TPLF’s hegemony. It is very difficult to take for-granted these facts as conditions calling for a government of reconciliation since you didn’t offer any hard or soft evidence corroborating them. I tend to think that you didn’t even make a hard look at the political realities on the ground. HMD’s Gov’t has not so far been dealt a blow by one catastrophic crisis after another that could trigger popular uprising. Rather it is struggling with a laundry list of problems inherited from his predecessor’s gov’t. But this is not to say that the conditions for popular protest are not ripe. I am only pointing out that the triggers for people’s uprising are not yet there. If you seem to over-read the political changes in Tunisia and Egypt as the workings of peoples’ uprisings as so often recited in the media, you are dead wrong because both cases are creeping coups by the military rather than a spontaneous overthrow of dictatorial regimes by the people on the streets. With deepening ethnic division and radical poverty, one wonders whether Ethiopians of divergent creeds would take to the streets in unison for days or weeks to weaken the TPLF-led gov’t. Priority for the ordinary people is attending to their daily needs – bread rather than founding a gov’t they truly call their own. On the other hand, I am not sure if the junior partners of TPLF in the coalition desire to end TPLF’s hegemony because for them your proposal envisions no better placement for them in the new power matrix other than changing masters. And remember the Ethiopian adage that ‘the devil you know is better than an angel you have never met before’.

  10. Dawi
    | #10

    Zaude G says:

    [[..The Hailemariam Desalegn adminstration is working hard to set the country back to stone age, with no hope for freedom and growth. For any nation’s democracy to flourish the people need to be able to have hope for a brighter future…]]

    Can I ask what kind of “Democracy is going to flourish”? and with an empty stomach at that?

    What Desalegn is doing now is using a strong authoritarian state created my Meles and make use of capitalism and create wealth.

    EPRDF direction is like the China model where the state makes a deliberate effort towards economic growth rather than “civil and political rights”.

    It makes large investment and construction projects such as sugar plantations, renaissance Dam, rail road, light rail projects and makes sure they are translated to action in real world. This can not be done by “liberal democracy” of the Western type because of its inherent distractions of vocal opposition parties.

    What you are considering is the “distractions” of neo-liberalism while folks walking around with an empty stomach as if “democracy flourishes” as such. What kind of Democracy is that? It is just baloney if you ask me.

  11. E. E. Abate
    | #11

    You present a novel and politically expedient alternative that the TPLF could–and should–take that will (hopefully) engender a democratic state. However, it is not the mark of a great intellectual to overtly exude his distaste and bias throughout his writing. I think you could have made your point in an objective and compelling manner without having to revert to subtle censuring of the ruling party. Yes, it’s not the best political party in the world (or even in Africa for that matter);however, it has accomplished some positive things besides being an agent of “corruption and repression” as you claim. Again, your directive is a very prudent one, and I just wish it wasn’t marred by an egregious bias that jeopardizes your credibility as an author.

  12. AssMessay
    | #12

    Dear Writer,
    I don’t know what to think of your article for the life of me. I believe though before you subscribe any possible national reconciliation plans, you need to reconcile your own thoughts first. How do you want your readers to process the interchangeable argument of the government being led by EPRDF in one paragraph and the TPLF on the other? The once you call crook and corrupt are the once you beg to be the saints of your subscription. The folks you call useless backwards or the mediocre to use your word are the same once you hope to be the rescuer and the only hope for the good of the country. Not only your arguments borders on “naiveté” but they are highly confusing and juvenile. It is like a mad scientist who puts junk and expects something good to come out. Your flawed and out right onerous assumptions about the current government is the start of your undoing. May be you need some cleansing from your old Marxist Leninist thinking in order to come to your senses and realize the current government is way smarter than you think to be trapped by this kind of childish ploy. Your hope of getting invited to the dinning table without contributing towards that meal is one more futile attempt. You have to pay to play, friend. They did pay their dues to be where they are – by their bloods and by being productive and progressive in their stewardship as office holders. If the Ethiopian people had any qualms to the extent as you seem to suggest, trust you me, it is still in their blood to fight back no matter how heavy the arsenal. Go ask the Italians. You cannot lose that character because the party name is EPRDF or TPLF. Unless and otherwise they see a worthy opposition, they are happily stuck with the current government for generations to come. I know it’s a hard pill to swallow but nevertheless true. By the way, it is Hailemariam not Haile Mariam. Did not expect that silly mistake from you though I have a hunch why you did that.

  13. aha!
    | #13

    I question your argumentative position/thesis ” the creation of a government with national reconciliation as the best road map both for the easing of some of Ethiopia’s socio-economic problems and initiating the construction of a democratic future”, as a problem (socio-economic) solving formula. What about the humanitarian, political and environmental problems/crises perpetrated by TPLF/eprdf regime in the name of the current constitution of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism and/or state capitalism in concert with crony capitalism by TPLF/political, TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affiliated enterprises and foreign corporations particularly foreign corporations in the agro-industry engaged in exploitation, political and economic strangle hold of the countries resources and environmental degradation. Are they also up for national reconciliation or concession as concept may sound like in lieu of opening up the political space, power sharing, “yekili mengistats mebit ikulent mekeber” to bring about democracy and less repression and respect of ethnic rights, rather than appealing to the TPLF/eprdf regime and its mirror image party to undergo some reflective thinking rather than “national reconciliation” to ratify the constitution with respect to Article 2, the flag, Article 46, ethnic federalism, Article 39 (1), secessionism/ethnic nationalism, Article 8, the sovereignty of Ethiopia, and individual freedom, liberty and equality to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights as the center piece of the constitution upon its own initiative and alignment of parties along national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians as a problem solving formula in line with the positive forces of integration as a precursor to national reconciliation as the alternative to non-violent uprising to political and economic freedom by the silent majority of Ethiopians, which also may end up in national reconciliation as the case was with Ex-apartheid South African regime to the African National Congress (ANC) that set the condition for a democratic rather than totalitarian process. I believe you may not want to have national reconciliation while keeping intact “ethnic federalism, secessionism, totalitarianism and crony capitalism in tact for liberal and /or social democracy to prevail.

  14. Teshome
    | #14

    Me too I join Dodo above and say the same thing about Messay Kebede.Most Philosopers especially arm chair politicalal philosophers are in their field ,in my view,in the firist due to their high regard of their own IDEAS.And it is very hard to get across any thing at all to such one’s to get them consider the word of GOD.I personally believe one of the reason most philosopers are athists is ,more than any thing else, perhaps thy want to worship thier own ideas as center of every thing or want to be remembered after their departure for their works I am here reminded with the French philosoper and dreamer Reni Descart.As for me I take what GOD has revealed in his word as an infalable and innerant TRUITH than to allow myself all my life to swim in the oceans of speculative IDEAS all my life and miss it all why I am created in the firist place.Please take no offence for my statments.

  15. UNITY
    | #15

    Confusing article. TPLF and EPLF started their journey by demonizing Amharas and the multi-ethnic Ethiopian, the late HaileSelassaie to divide Ethiopians. I strongly believe even the mad-dog, the unintellectual and the senseless murderer Mengestu was the creation of the EPLF and TPLF generals that were working undercover.
    After Eritria is gone, unfortunately, TPLF are still at the top of their game and fulfilling their agenda by dividing Ethiopians and robing over 90 million unsuspecting Ethiopians. They haven’t stopped outsmarting and manipulating and dividing Ethiopians, incarcerating, torturing and killing the brave and the intellectual patriotic innocent Ethiopians, selling Ethiopia’s land while building their Greater Tigrea.
    Expecting fair government and Democracy from an regime that left Ethiopia landlocked, locked up close to 100 thousand innocent Ethiopians, slaughtered over 200 innocent Ethiopians in the broad daylight in Addis and over 400 Ethiopians in Gambela, sold large fertile land to foreigners while Ethiopians still dying of hunger… is totally unwise and is like trying to squeeze blood out of gomen. After 23 years of unimaginable tyranny, it is time for Ethiopians to wake up and UNITE to get rid off TPLF, before Ethiopia is totally destroyed and gone. THE OPPOSITION LEADERS MUST WORK HARD TO OPEN THE EYES AND MINDS OF ETHIOPIANS THAT HAVE BEEN BRAINWASHED BY TPLF/EPLF TO BUILD UNITY AMONG ETHIOPIANS. The UNITY of Ethiopians is a nightmare for TPLF. Ethiopians must demand to be treated fairly and equally. By the way, the current Prime Minister HMD is as fake as a three dollar bill.

  16. aha!
    | #16

    The complete narratives of the argument about EPLF/ELF is documented in the book by Tele Yeshaw, one of the brilliant research historian, which also serves as narratives for some of my argumentative positions/models.

  17. OkiDoki
    | #17

    @AssMessay

    Very well said. Reconciliation starts from those who are calling from reconciliation.

  18. Dawi
    | #18

    AssMessay said:

    [[..By the way, it is Hailemariam not Haile Mariam. Did not expect that silly mistake from you though I have a hunch why you did that...]]

    Can you tell us your “hunch”? I have no idea. :-)

    Be that as it may, this guy heat Prof. Messay’s “National Reconciliation” on the nail.

    He said “How do …readers .. process …..The once you call crook and corrupt are the once you beg to be the saints of your subscription. The folks you call useless backwards or the mediocre to use your word are the same once you hope to be the rescuer and the only hope for the good of the country…” ??

    Prof. Messay went in length a while ago diagnosing Meles’s psychiatric problem as the result of being a son of a “banda” etc. that was following his original “national reconciliation” egnored by TPLF/EPRDF. That come back by him didn’t help the situation if you ask me. Not only because the labeling of Meles as such was a silly thing to do but even if Meles had such of a problem it was in my opinion for the benefit of Ethiopia because Ethiopia never had shortage of children of national patriots as leaders but needed some one less high on zeraf/zeraf!! cool and visionary in fighting poverty first and foremost.

    If we look on the other direction, we have Isayas, a one son of xx of an Ethiopian Patriot a non Eritrean? that didn’t stop him from breaking up our country and making it locked for now. Did it?

    In the same talking,General Park of South Korea was a former officer of the Japanese Imperial Colonial army however, that didn’t stop him from being the father of the “developmental state” of South Korea.

    So – I fully agree with Asmesay, respect of those you call/ask to do the “reconciliation” can go a long way.

  19. aha!
    | #19

    This cry for democracy rather than political and economic freedom of the individual by the silent majority of Ethiopians had been the hall mark of the pro-democracy movement in the diaspora during the split of Kinijit (CUD) into UDJP, which later formed a coalition with loyalist opposition parties with ethnic agenda, and Ginbot-7 on the armed struggle, also known as ALIJE +OLF, which I label as AFD2. Democracy, which connotes a rule by the people, of the people and for the people does come about under the current frame work of the constitution with ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism and or State capitalism, that denies individual freedom and equality in preference to ethnic and secessionist rights and totalitarian and or State capitalism that denies free market capitalism to the silent majority of Ethiopians in terms of private ownership of land anywhere in Ethiopia. The frame work of the constitution denies Ethiopian Nationalism in preference to Ethnic federalism and Ethnic secessionism/Ethnic nationalism, the sovereignty of Ethiopia and its original flag and for which it stands for. Democracy could not be supper imposed upon ethnic rule of either majority or minority ethnic rule, nor can there be national reconciliation between negative forces of disintegration and positive forces of integration for unity, territorial integrity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians other than by non-violent uprising by the silent majority of Ethiopians subjected to humanitarian, economic, political and environmental crises, perpetrated by TPLF/eprdf regime. Transfer of power under fair and free elections and code of conduct agreements have miserably failed and has been compromised by Medrek Party and plea for power sharing, Yekil Mengistats ikulent mekeber, and openining up of political space, a qualitatative not a quantitative event by this party,while maintaining the status quo of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism has fallen on deaf ears, resulting in one party rule rather two parties on ether side of the parliamentary chamber with ethnic agenda, rather than national agenda.

  20. WSLF
    | #20

    Worse than Messay are the writers’ comments who are still daydreaming to view their fantasies in their philosophical discourses. One can gauge the perspective and motifs when he/she puts in its context. Whether we like it or not, Ethiopia that we have known twenty two years ago had changed, but Ethiopian of world class intellectual as one of you alluded are still behind of Ethiopian reality. IT seems as Somali saying goes, ” One needs to change his outlook of the world before he wants to introduce a fruitful and useful tasks.”
    Moreover, one of the writers had addressed properly that Ethiopian are shaped with ethnic ideology; however, he did not get to the land of truth
    : EPRDF effigy that TPLF introduced in the last twenty two years is a classical way of imposing its hegemony without genuine democracy and rule of law. Today, the so-called Somali Region is ruled by the people who fought to realize the notion of greater Somalia( the recent building of statue of Mad Mullah while TPLF had opposing Menelik’s one is the fact of the ground ). Ethiopia is crying for united ideology that will usher democracy, rule of law and justice. The rest of brouhaha is fitting Somali adage, ” The crying is bigger than the intention.”

  21. are monster beats by dre real
    | #21

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