BRIEFING THE STRATEGY OF EMPOWERING OPPOSITION POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS AND CHARITIES AND NGOS By Tecola W. Hagos

January 1st, 2015 Print Print Email Email

General

I want to start this brief essay with full acknowledgement of Ato Belay Fekadu’s tele-conference with media personalities of the Diaspora in North America and Europe (presentations) of 29 December 2014. Ato Belay is the President of Unity for Democracy and Justice [UDJ]. This is the type of political discussion that ought to be listened to with full attention and seriousness. In the main, the points addressed by the President were in response to several enquiries by individuals representing media organs of political groups about why UDJ decided to participate in the upcoming national election of 2015. The questions were challenging, often well taken and focused. In a way, the tele-conference helped me to rewrite my initial draft in refocusing my suggestions on few strategic formulas. My original elaborate history-based essay on political strategy has to wait for another day for posting, which was partially in response to a chat request by Abegaz who commented on my last article.

The question of establishing effective strategy to create a powerful well organized political organization must be our central point of focus. I do not intend to go into why UDJ and the other sixty three political parties needed to participate in the election exercise party by party. I am not encouraged as to the effectiveness of a democratic process where there are almost seventy political organizations in toto including the party-members of the EPRDF participating in an election process. However, the value of this form of national election is in its modality and not in its substantive results. This article is not a protest article, and I do not mean to suggest any other political group would have done any better were it in a position of power. I am simply measuring our current political situation with an ideal one.

There are several projects and programs that our Ethiopian opposition political organizations ought to adopt as part of their political agenda in their system of political and economy programs. This is not to say that they do not have such programs in their respective organizations’ formal documentation. I have read a number of such literature from a number of political organizations. What is missing in all such literature is the supplemental documentation on specific strategy in carrying out the overall goals of the individual political organization. This absence of detail might be due to internal discipline and tactical expediency.

The Significance of Civic Activities

When I studied several of the highly successful opposition political organizations around the world, what I found to be quiet striking and universal is the depth of participation of such successful political organizations in the non-political lives of the people that they served. Starting from Gandhi’s non-violent movement to the confrontational violent liberation struggle of Hammas, all successful political parties and/or movements have very elaborate service oriented relationships with the general population that they aspired to liberate. The Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt is a stellar and extreme example of such strategy. No matter how badly Mohammed Morsi failed in the creation of a national agenda for all Egyptians by becoming a narrow Jihadist leader, and yet the Brotherhood’s non-political service oriented programs are highly praise worthy and still engaged in the service of millions of Egyptians. The Brotherhood seemed to have overcome such governmental interference by using the individual family unit as its basic building block. In other words, the family is the starting point for a political involvement that makes it very difficult for the government to get involved at that basic level to counter or separate charitable activity from political activity.

Under the new law “Charities and Societies Proclamation No. 621/2009 [CSP], a Proclamation to Provide for the Registration and Regulation of Charities and Societies, Federal Negarit Gazeta, 15th Year No.25, Addis Ababa, 13th February 2009,” there could be a challenge by the current Ethiopian Government on any civic activities of political parties. The new legal regime does not clarify often arbitrary existing practices but introduced the concept of “charitable purpose” far more expanded concept of charities and development [CSP, Article 14 (2)] into forms of legal norms highly susceptible to adverse interpretations by the enforcement bodies including courts. However, such challenge has a multiplier effect casting the government as even more heartless alien beast. If there is any shadow of limitation that is enforceable with minimum pain to the government, it is the limitation that is set on NGOs not to be involved in political activities. Yes, there is a fine line that one must draw in establishing the distinction between a political organization doing charitable deeds as opposed to an NGO involved in political activity. By interfering in either way the Ethiopian Government would end up undermining its popularity, thus real restraint on its part is advisable when it comes to charitable works by either political organizations or the registered NGOs.

In recent years there have been several forums both in the United States and in Britain to break the legal barrier against political organizations involvement in charitable activities or NGOs being involved in political activism. In other words, the issues that I am discussing here are hot issues at least in Western democratic societies. The fact that people in Ethiopia are concerned and often raising questions on such subjects concerning the Ethiopian Government and charities is some measure of progress of the Ethiopian government system and structure. Over all, a timely and highly competent Thesis research by a graduate law student clearly established the grim situation how far behind civic societies and related organizations are in the promotion of democracy and awareness of human rights.

“Moreover, the number of CSOs/NGOs that registered their programs as focusing on issues related to human rights, advocacy, and democracy was less than 10 in 1997. There is no convincing evidence that these few have made even modest attempts to follow this up. The contribution of CSOs/NGOs in Ethiopia towards the emergence and consolidation of democratic values has been insignificant.” Abiy Chelkeba, Impact Assessment of the Charities and Societies Law on the Growth and Programs of Non-Governmental Organizations (A Survey Study of AddisAbaba City Administration, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). P15 (2011).

Let me give you a clear example of the problem I am discussing here: Suppose UDJ opens a political school that also teaches people to read and write, or opens a free medical service clinic for poor Ethiopians, et cetera would that violate the legal requirement or limitations on charitable activities by political organizations? The regulatory power of the Government comes into play because it has the legal/constitutional power and authority to give privileges of tax exemptions to charities. Do I need registration if I simply want to provide free meals and money to poor people and I am willing to pay the legal taxes such as gift tax, transaction tax, income tax et cetera associated with my activities? Is it possible to use the same analogy with political organizations doing charitable deeds without any tax exemptions? Do I need a registration or license to give alms to beggars on the street? As we can observe the Ethiopian legal regime on charities and NGOs is not well developed and has holes in it.

The obvious absurdity of the new Proclamation is its limitation of contributions from outside sources to local charities to not more than 10% of the total contributions (Article 2 (2) of the CSP). This form of absurd limitation on foreign currency goes against any rationality and against the need of the country for every scrap of foreign currency. The narrow mindedness of the Leadership of the Ethiopian Government and the controlling political organizations EPRDF/TPLF would not allow them to see beyond their narrow interest to control the Ethiopia government, for they seem to be far more worried about Diaspora Ethiopians influencing the local charities through their financial contributions more than the benefit of allowing unlimited contributions to local charities thereby increasing the foreign currency reserve. The same type of state of mind that was focusing on acquiring political power in disregard to the welfare of the people of Ethiopia and the territorial integrity of the State, led into losing our coastal territories and territorial sea through unnecessary capitulation and appeasement of political forces against Ethiopia’s vital interests.

Recruiting Members for Political Parties

I often see, near DuPont Circle, young Americans trying to recruit new members to this or that political groups. I am always amazed how nonchalant they are, simply acting as blasé as selling or introducing some new products. I do not expect that recruitment would be that matter of fact in Ethiopia. It might require different approach and a much higher level of effort. How do you recruit new members for political parties under a repressive regime? One can attract more bees with a drop of honey more than anything else. Here is a new approach I suggest than the usual process of portraying the opposing party i.e, the Ethiopian Government as a monster, one should rather offer a great picture of one’s own political and economic plans. It should be appealing to the individual being approached.

Because of the political atmosphere in Ethiopia, people seem to be weary to enlist as members of political parties. It is understandable after half a century of turmoil and repressive governments that people are weary, but such fear and mistrust should not have persisted this far. In fact, the distrust of citizens of each other is a major stumbling block of democracy and economic progress. I believe new members of any political organizations are interested to be a stake holder in a political and economic process. People must believe they have something of value in their participation in political organizations. Thus, my suggestions of a series of sharply defined points or themes for protest demonstrations are offered hereunder with such articulation and membership drive in mind.

Focusing Protests

The problem with almost all demonstrations launched by Ethiopians both in the Diaspora and locally in Ethiopia that I have studied dealt with abstract principles mostly on representative governments, democratic freedoms, et cetera far removed from the existential reality that can be easily incorporated with the life process of individual Ethiopians. What do most Ethiopians want or need? Food security, clean water, good education for their children, peace and justice. Without intimate connection between ideas and the existential reality of individual lives, political demonstrations will be ineffective and episodic not sustained and deeply felt by the Ethiopian public. I have few points that all protest demonstrations could use as thematic points, one such point as theme for every demonstration. The following points for demonstrations have direct appeal to the public’s sense of well-being and patriotic zeal:

1.Protest against international investors’ leases of huge tract of land of millions of hectares that is often not fully developed but held down due to greed and cheapness. Protest against lack of transparency of such sales and the absence of full disclosure.

2.Protest the private ownership of gold mines. Demand full accountability and public disclosure of all earnings, tax and royalty payments since 1991 to date.

3.Protest for full disclosure of the financing and payments made by the Grand Renaissance Dam corporate office to subcontractors with proper identification of all companies and consultants who are pad from the Fund of the Dam.

4.Protest Kililization and ethnic cleansing. Protest against specific proclamations that affect the freedoms and civil liberties of Ethiopians.

5.Protest the imprisonment of journalists and political leaders by identifying specific individuals incarcerated. .

6.Protest the bureaucratic corruption by identifying corrupt officials by name and their corrupt deeds. Protest for blue sky laws full disclosure of governmental development oriented activities and for government audit of all public bids and constructions.

7.Protest for a free and responsible press. Protest must be focused on specific activities of the Ethiopian Government’s violations of the Constitutional rights of named media..

8.Protest for proper land ownership. Protest against the concentration of uneven investments in different regions of the country.

9.Protest against low standard of education.

10.Protest against unemployment. Target specific segments of the unemployed and address their needs.

11.Protest against the Government’s high officials interfering in the courts’ judicial responsibilities.

12.Protest against the Government’s lack of protection of abused Ethiopian Citizens in Arab countries and elsewhere in the World.

13.Protest against the exploitation of Djibouti with its extortionist fees and charges of Ethiopia.

Conclusion

My very brief treatment of a subject that is vast with subterranean vexing problems must be considered as indicator of important issues for our further investigation and research and in-depth understanding. The Charities and Societies Proclamation No. 621/2009, is a poorly conceived and poorly drafted legislation that raised far more degenerative and insoluble problems than being helpful in easing the transition into a democratic society. Because of the legal barrier set between charities and political organizations, the cooperation between charities and political organizations is a tricky one. It is often used by unscrupulous governments as an excuse to step in and disrupt the charitable activities of political organizations deeming them not permissible violations of the separation of charities from political organizations.

The fact that the “winner” of the 2015 national election is very much obvious, that the election process already started out with problems of getting impartial “domestic observers” and polling station workers in the administrative structure of the Election Board, that the central and local government officials are harassing some members of the opposition political organizations et cetera are all discouraging. It is clear to me that Hailemariam Desalegn will be elected again by the EPRDF as Prime Minister now that the “Leaders” of the old TPLF modus operandi seem to be in full control, and reformists, such as Deputy Prime Minister Dr Debretsion, are caged-in and isolated with minimal influence in the Army, an Army whose leadership recently has been restructured and solidified to insure that old Meles Zenawi continues to rule Ethiopia even from the grave. It is always impossible to read from the outside what is going on within TPLF’s leadership, and what I think is the case may be just one layer of the puzzle wherein several more layers may be hidden from my radar and the reformists might overturn the current situation.

Ethiopia is in far more serious trouble than just going through the election charred, which charred I consider harmless. Despite the fact of such monumental problems, I still believe that participation even in a corrupted election process is a form of political struggle and helpful in exposing further the failure of democracy under the inelasticity of political leadership of the current Ethiopian Government and the EPRDF. The real problem facing us all, including even those that blindly support or overlook EPRDF’s divisive ethnic based federalism, is that the current Leaders of the Ethiopian Government still continue to cover-up the seriously flawed philosophy on government structure, devastating ethnic based federalism, corruption due to lack of accountability and the silencing of the press.

I am growing into a pessimist day by day as I watch absolutely mediocre individuals in leadership positions devastating my beloved Ethiopia with silly schemes of government structure and function born out of the mind of appallingly inexperienced individuals hateful of our Ethiopian history and past achievements. It took us thousands of years to build a nation and maintain it in sovereignty, but we are destroying such a great nation in mere decades. In my accusations or criticisms, I do not single out any one group for blaming, for we all are responsible in some ways to the state of affairs now facing us all. Now that we set aside our individual or group agendas, and that we start thinking “Ethiopia.”

Tecola W. Hagos
January 1, 2015

  1. aklog
    | #1

    Wow these are the people who this website and Andinet fancy. Just accept TPLF and give legitimacy to the TPLF for another five years. Do not demand democracy, representation, justice, equality etc. These are not achievable. The Election is fixed but you should congratulate yourselves for participating. I think Tecola, the former central committee member of TPLF, want Andinet to tacitly legitimize another five years for the TPLF and Girma Seifu. The problem is most Ethiopians will not be deceived.

  2. Abegaz
    | #2

    That was an interesting piece and a good start. A number of good points are indicated and readers may add to it. The opposition should at least maintain 100,000 strong members that can go to streets demanding fundamental rights that affect the daily life of the people as indicated by Prof. Tecola. So a huge organizational work is needed.

  3. Abdi
    | #3

    I have not been convinced of the rationale for taking part in the TPLF controlled and organized farce elections at all. The past 23 years of TPLF rule have shown us that the front is not interested in free and fair elections. Besides,it is not letting the so called legal opposition to operate and campaign for these premediated TPLF elections. That is why the opposition has lost the confidence ans backing of the population. The TPLF is also abusing the opposition as a showcase to win foreign aid and support. My advicee to the opposition is to return their licenses to the TPLF and disband. This is the most honorable wat to the opposition than taking part in the farce TPLF elections and re-crowning it.

  4. Kaleb
    | #4

    It is admirable that the Professor is giving his time and thoughtful recommendations for the betterment of political process in Ethiopua. The lack of progress in the political life of ethiopians is also attributable to the attitude that “nothing is good unless the current system is is dismantled and my version of ideology is a substitute”. We can not live in a perpetual state restarting a new political order. There is no choice but to improve what we have now. Ethiopia, with all its problems, cannot afford another revolution. The new generation, born after the 1970s, does not view the current system as something to build on or improve. For instance ethnic federalism is not even an issue for those of us who live in ethiopia as much as good governance. The idea that eprdf is dismantling a nation built through thousands of years is a farce. What was built professor except the obelisks and churches? What was built except a backward feudal culture, intolerance, averse to change etc?

  5. Alem
    | #5

    Convertible Tecola is at it again.
    In his last piece he advised “just vote” [or else] and ፈሪ ለናቱ.
    One thing he revealed about himself this time is that he spends his days in chat rooms monitoring especially diaspora activities.

    Well, what is he dishing out this time? That the opposition should focus on clean water, soup kitchens, etc to connect with the public. In other words, do what TPLF wants you to do and you will be rewarded. He points us to Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood. He appears totally disjointed from Ethiopian reality where the little there is to Muslim activism is brutally quashed; whereas Egypt is 85% Muslim and ruled by the Military sponsored by US aid and foreign policy. He miserably fails to recognize the Charities Law of 2009 was quickly enacted to sever the ties those charities organizations enjoyed with the public prior to the 2005 landslide victory. Convertible Tecola goes on to suggest a “13-point protest” model. Any one except Tecola knows you could protest all you want but you cannot organize to challenge TPLF without facing the death squad. He already warned us in his last piece that to try to organize as a party to challenge TPLF in the upcoming elections is unthinkable and a folly. Did he now have an apparition of dead Meles to force him to change his mind? What is the sense in holding protests if one is barred from participating in a free and fair elections that in fact could force TPLF out of power? Either Tecola is intellectually weak or incapable of being honest; I think the latter.

    Tecola subtly sneaks in his reality of a no-future without TPLF at the helm by describing Debretsion & Co. as “reformists.” [Note Tecola's remark about water boy Hailemariam continuing as Prime Minister to cover TPLF back; remember Tecola had on "constitutional grounds" objected Hailemariam should become PM]. Tecola being a “human rights” lawyer does not specify why or how the courts do not convict criminal TPLF operatives and business organizations. May be he should retake ethics courses at Georgetown or turn in his diploma. He once threatened to take Mengistu to International Court at The Hague and later retracted when I suggested he include Meles, Seeye, Seyoum, Debretsion, Tsadkan, etc.

    Let me finally show how Tecola manipulated Abiy Chelkeba’s research on CSOs. Tecola above said Abiy’s is “a timely and highly competent Thesis research by a graduate law student clearly established the grim situation how far behind civic societies and related organizations are in the promotion of democracy and awareness of human rights.” He quoted the following: “the number of CSOs/NGOs that registered their programs as focusing on issues related to human rights, advocacy, and democracy was less than 10 in 1997. There is no convincing evidence that these few have made even modest attempts to follow this up.” He was so eager to cut and paste passages that supported his premeditated opinion that he left out two important components of Abiy’s work. Here is Abiy’s statement immediately following where Tecola’s quote ended, “This is due to the fact that experience in the past,has shown that many people shy away from engaging in rights related activities as the latter are sensitive subject that often put activities at logger hand [sic] with public authority. Moreover,this failure to enhance democratic values, even in favorable environments is quite strange.” Second, Abiy has under Limitations to the Study said “The first limitation is that the methodology used fails to control for other factors affecting theimpact of the Charities and Society Proclamation on the CSOs/NGOs. The second limitationis the researcher could not find enough secondary data from the CSOs/NGOs and other relevant institution as a result the analysis of the impact is predominately dependent on primary data. Besides the study doesn’t cover the entire civil society organizations more specifically societies are not the subject matter of this study and the reference to CSOs/NGOsare only to charities organizations. As a result, the same conclusion cannot be drawn to the entire civil society organization and in particular CSOs/NGOs located outside Addis Ababa.” In other words, TPLF fears were real and hence the need for a harsh and quickie law to stop the “dangerous” tide of public participation and empowerment.

    The question now is, How should we organize to voice the plight of those at the forefront fighting tyranny? What preparations should be made when the day after elections 2015 TPLF brutally steals the election and jails and tortures fellow Ethiopians? How should we go about informing US and British publics whose leaders are in their name brutalizing the aspirations of Ethiopians? Tecola says little about these.

    I am now ready to hear what Tecola & Co. come up with.

  6. Anbabi from Dallas
    | #6

    አቶ ተኮላ,

    I read your article twice. I read it twice because … I was trying to get the jist of your argument … reading it the first time left me confused. Well, reading it twice did not help neither.

    First of all, It appears to me as if the body of your article and the conclusion were written by two different people. The body preaches to the ‘opposition’ how to be an ideal opposition to the point of prescribing a protest for ‘non disclosure of expense details’.

    Notwithstanding your capacity for intellectual prowess of political discourse, in my opinion your article here serves practically no purpose in tackling the real issues facing the Ethiopian people. To rephrase your own words, Ethiopia is in far more serious problems than protesting for ‘nondisclosure details’ of a scam project that the blood sucking thugs of TPLF have launched to fleece the Ethiopian people.

    Second, If you believe what you wrote in your article that the country is being destroyed by … and in the meantime the thugs in charge are in the midst of another charade to extend their reign, it is mind boggling why you would advise the opposition to go along and participate in the process of further destruction.

    One thing worth noting in your article is also the fact you lament ‘the side lining’ of our tormentors. I think, this says a lot about your true colors. The TPLF’s intelligence head honcho is one of the architects of the draconian ‘legislation’ that is being used to trample the basic human rights of the citizens and imprison hundreds of journalists and thousands others under inhumane conditions. And yet, you lament the ‘fact’ that these human right abusers are allegedly being sidelined. Somewhere in the body of your article, you also lecture the opposition to protest the imprisonment of some journalists. …
    lamenting the alleged sidelining of the tormentor … and yet,
    protesting against the imprisonment of journalists by the tormentors ….
    No wonders that I am confused!

    You write that you are more and more pessimistic … and yet you advise to Participate in the charade to prolong the reign of the destructive forces;
    you write that the ‘Monumental’ issues are being neglected and yet you advise to protest the ‘non-disclosure’ of expense details;
    you write the country is being destroyed by the ‘thugs’ … yet you advise to keep away the diaspora who has made the removal of these thugs and The paramount issues of Freedom & Liberty the main focus of their struggle.

    Ato Tekola,

    I have no doubt of your capacity for engaging in intellectual exercise of these matters, but in this and many other articles of yours what I see is pathetic case of intellectual waste.

  7. Abegaz
    | #7

    Alem, Anbabi, et al.,

    You all are bright guys. Why do n’t you add the list of viable means of strengthening the opposition. Surely demonstrations and public meeting are necessary to strengthen the opposition. But it is also absolutely necessary for the opposition to garner vanguard members much like freedom fighters we see in other continents to get effective results.

    You remember when kinijit leaders were arrested, the public and members were watching from the side line. We do not want that to happen. What we need is an opposition with lots of members that have strong commitment to freedom. If the members of the opposition commit their life to freedom, they will defend their leaders. They will surround them and refuse to give to woyane soldiers. They can surround the prisons and demand release of their comrades. Only then peaceful protest succeeds. When Gandhi was out for protest People of India were coming out in droves to die. When the soldiers were tired of killing, India was liberated. The opposition need this level of party organization to bring EPRDF to the negotiating table. I do not mean members should die to the Indians level, but if they are strongly organized they can refuse the arrest of their leaders and the protest hits the desired plan.

    Prof. Tecola forwarded his idea. There is no need to be bitter on him. You would serve the opposition best by forwarding your own ideas. Personally I would not recommend 2000 demonstrators to come out to the streets and clash with police when peaceful protest is refused. I know government cannot refuse peaceful protest but the government does it because they have the means to enforce it illegally.

  8. anon
    | #8

    ‘The many hats of DR. Tecola work Hagos’

    The one person in this forum that seems to think Dr. Tecola is serious is ABEGAZ. The main issue I have in here concerning the doctor is credibility. Yes time and again he has an ample opportunity to make himself an amazingly incredible. The issue has never been whether he should or not have right of say on the activities of our political parties. For that matter, or whether he should have a say or not on issues that matters Ethiopia. Rather, the issue is he is out right honest, and it makes me to shudder over this specially when I consider he is a law expert.

    I know where Tecola stays on many national issue, setting aside his rhetoric of national integrity and sovereignty. In this writing ,though,he sounds he is making a turn around. I am always ready to forgive those who wants to amend their ways. But, it has to be on the bases of true repentance to the people of Ethiopia. one remembers here the cases of the most vocal and outspoken Patriot Geberemedihn Araya. Tecola does not want to face his past misdeeds instead he believes simply turning his coat will do a good job. It is for this reason Mr. Abegaz why many vehemently oppose the obvious character flaws in Tecola.

    I am not here to go point by point on diverse opinions he hold concerning the opposition, verses his grand dady TPLF. The issue comes either is TPLF responsible for her crimes for the last 24 years or not. The first thing then is condemn TPLF point by point for what she has done. That is not what we see, Tecola will like to gloss over this issue with the phrase “we all are in some way for what happened in the country”. In fact he will argue 60 parties in country is a sign that points to the weakness of the opposition.Be real man.

  9. Dawi
    | #9

    Abegaz said:

    [[..You all are bright guys. Why don’t you add the list of viable means of strengthening the opposition...]]

    I agree with you Abegaz – the difficulty is because building an organization like that is not easy. Woyane took some 17 years to get to power, enlarged their lot to EPRDF under their own terms off course; regardless, by sharing something with others; OLF was one of them who took the ride but, lost because they took the gesture for granted without having the capacity to stay in power and they were thrown out; these guys act in a similar manner, they want to take power using a short cut; at least they are honest by not hiding what they want to do as we are reading them here and I give them credit for that.

    I understand we all hate hard work & like our safety but some of these guys are bold & transparent; they are also shameless & greedy to the point of not even offering a serious soft landing to the ones they want to overthrow out of power without having an organized fighting army at hand. It is unreal!

  10. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #10

    I agree with the professor in his 10 topics the opposition must continue to protest except the first one. I don’t mind leasing open and fallow tracts of land to investors for various types of development. Some of the fallow land has been used by wandering nomadic tribes for ages providing them with just temporary means subsistence. That just can not go on. The opposition must be very careful in choosing topics of protest to make sure they are burning issues. I know there are some individuals and groups here in the West complaining about the ill treatment of the indigenous tribes where large tracts of land were given to foreign and domestic developers. These individuals and groups are worried that tribal way of lives will cease to exist. If they are talking about ways of life where a Surma woman’s lower lip is mutilated in agonizing pain so she can insert a large clay saucer to make here lazy bum man happy or attracted to her. Otherwise she will be ostracized and force to die alone, I say boohoo!!! They want to keep looking at our beautiful and elegant colored women bare-chested with their exposed breasts on the silver platter laid out at no charge for them to enjoy. It just can not go on like that. They have to be modernized but still maintaining their colorful part of heir culture in tact. They should be given comparable accommodation when their traditional roaming tract of land is taken away for development. That is what the opposition should take an issue if, when and where it occurs.

  11. Dawi
    | #11

    Alem said:

    [[...Note Tecola's remark about water boy Hailemariam continuing as Prime Minister to cover TPLF back;..]]

    What you call a “water boy” led the group that wrote the CSO law; the topic of discussion here and pushed for the reorganization of EPRDF after 2005 elections boosting its membership from 400,000 to 5 million by 2010 election.

    He knows how to build a huge organization and showed all how it is done by doing it. That is why he is the top man of EPRDF. That was exactly why his predecessor was at the helm of Woyane/EPRDF for a life time. They took their positions because they earned it.

    It is a big time mistake to assume the position was just given to HD. In fact, if you ask me I don’t see anyone who can serve EPRDF better than HD today. He is the best they have. If there was another person who is more capable s/he would have been offered the job.

    Having said that, I am curious to know what kind of “reformists” are Debretsion & Co? The Prof. must know something we don’t?

  12. Abegaz
    | #12

    Dawi says:

    “It is a big time mistake to assume the position was just given to HD. In fact, if you ask me I don’t see anyone who can serve EPRDF better than HD today. He is the best they have.”

    Are you kidding? The late Meles put HD in line because he wanted to call him from the comfort of the new palace that was being built for him nearby the current PM’s office. Meles did not trust any of the people from OPDO, ANDM and TPLF. So his best bet was HD. Because HD was like a servant to Meles when he was working in PM’s office. That HD boosted EPRDF’s membership from 400,000 to 5 million is an out right wrong. The blue print for recruiting members came from the late Meles himself who copied it from the Chinese communist party. After the EPRDF lost the 2005 election, Meles realized that bashing Addis Ababans as a problem child and condemning Amhara for all Ethiopian ills did not work. He saw that the survival of EPRDF is by following the development mantra. That is how the whole narrative of EPRDF changed since 2005. The seemingly federalism also lost its meaning for ever from that time on. In fact Ethiopia’s new realty is it is a highly centralized state than it has ever been in its history. In all this strategic change of the EPRDF, the HD’s role is nothing. HD does not know beyond some mathematical equations. In fact HD came to power through the help of Bereket. He was also the safe choice for TPLF who were not severely against. I think he is embarrassing them now by talking nonsense. Let us wait if they will replace him with a better communicator like Adhanom. I know Dawi praises HD because he is the perfect man to be manipulated by TPLF behind the scene.If Dawi is honest, HD has no legal right to stay as PM of Ethiopia because he represents less than 2% of the representatives within the government structure. If ethnicity is the bible of EPRDF there is no way HD can remain as PM of Ethiopia.

  13. Dawi
    | #13

    Abegaz said:

    [[.. The blue print for recruiting members came from the late Meles himself who copied it from the Chinese communist party. After the EPRDF lost the 2005 election,.]]

    Abegaz – You are correct in that ( አንድ ለአምስት አደረጃጀት ) is not new however, we can also say nothing is new under the sky! :-) but, that is not the point!

    In real world one has to push and put the formula in practice. That is what we are talking about. HD delivered to Meles & earned the top post. IMO,that is the only reason Meles passed the torch to him.

    As you pointed out, the poor performance in the 2005 including being wiped out from the major Cities made the old guards nervous and thus Meles pushed for the new generation of party leaders; he renewed the party in all levels. That is when HD, Radwan & others came in, the party started delivering results; It is said that Ethiopians “never, ever, experienced anything like the growth and spectacular expansion in infrastructure and services”; Meles predicted then that these will transform the country for the next fifteen years. HD has vowed to fulfill that prediction.

    [[..If Dawi is honest, HD has no legal right to stay as PM of Ethiopia because he represents less than 2% of the representatives within the government structure. If ethnicity is the bible of EPRDF there is no way HD can remain as PM of Ethiopia...]]

    I don’t know where you get such idea but,in my observation whether you believe it or not, the “bible” is “developmental state” particularly after 2005 and it cares less about “ethnicity”.

    Meles had said, ‘when [the developmental state] has done its job it will undermine its own social base (that includes ethnic differences) to be replaced by a social democratic or liberal democratic coalition’. Meanwhile, he argued, what meaning did liberal civil and political rights have in a context of abject poverty or political chaos? Development and a strong state were prerequisites for human rights, and Ethiopia needed to establish these first. That was what HD talking about while visiting Selte, on Kenya’s weakness against Al Shebab and why Ethiopia needs to continue be a “strong state” etc.

    .

  14. Abegaz
    | #14

    Dawi,

    FYI, here is the much talked educated HD’s credential falling apart. The Indian reporters retracted their reporting.

    http://ethioforum.org/hailemariams-fake-top-10-educated-list-falls-apart-by-abebe-gellaw/

  15. samuel
    | #15

    በመጀመሪያ ደረጃ በአፍሪካ ውስጥ ስልጣኑን በህዝብ ምርጫ ተሸንፎ በሰላም ያስረከበ መሪ የለም። ስልጣን እንዲጨብጡ ያደርጓቸው የእጅ አዙር ቀኝ ገዥዎች በህዝብ የተመረጠ መሪ ጥቅማቸውን እንደማያስጠብቅ ያውቁታል። ስለዚህ ወያኔዎች በማንኛውም የሃሰት መንገድ ተጠቅመው እንደበፊቱ 99.7% ወይም ትንሽ ቀነስ አድርጎ 89.7 አሸነፍኩኝ ይላል (ጤነኛ ለሆነ ሰው በጣም የሚያስቅ ፐርሰንት ነው። በደንብ በልተው የሚያድሩ ሃገሮች እንኳንስ ለመሪያቸው ድምጽ የሚሰጡት ከ52-57% የሚጠጋ ነው)። ከባህር ማዶ ያሉት የእጅ አዙር ቀኝ ገዢዎች እንደዚህ ክበፊቱ አይናቸውን ጨፍነው በደስታ ያጸድቁለታል። ምርጫ አንዱ የጊዜ ማራዘሚያ መንገድ ነው። ሃገራችን ውስጥ ለውጥ የሚመጣው ህዝብን የሚከፋፍሉበትን ዘዴዎች ለህዝብ ማሳወቅና ህዝቡ ይሄንን ከተረዳ ታዲያ ወያኔ ለአንዴና ለመጨረሻ ጊዜ በተቀነባበረ ህዝባዊ አመጽ ሊወገድ ይችላል።
    ፕሮፌሰር ተኮላ፦ ያልጠቀሱት ዋናው አንገብጋቢና በመጀመሪያ ደረጃ ላይ ሊቀመጥ የሚገባው ዘረኝነት ወይም አፓርታይድ ነው።
    1) ሰላማዊ ሰልፍ – ዘረኝነት ይወገድ !!!
    2) ሰላማዊ ሰልፍ – የሃገራችንን መሬት ቆርሶ ለሌላ ሃገር መሸጥ የለበትም !!!
    3) ሰላማዊ ሰልፍ – ህዝባችንን ከሚኖሩበት ምድር የተለያዩ ምክንያቶች እየፈጠሩ ማፈናቀል ይቁም !!!
    4) ሰላማዊ ሰልፍ – የማይታዩና የሚታዩ – GENOCIDE ዘርን ተሞርኩዞ በሃገራችን ውስጥ የሚካሄድ ግድያና የጅምላ ጭፍጨፋ ይቁም !!!
    5) ሰላማዊ ሰልፍ – ምርጫ ያለአድልዎ ይካሄድ !!! ለምርጫ ዋናው- የዜና ማሰራጫዎች ለሁሉም የተቃዋሚ ፓርቲዎች እኩል መብት መሰጠት አለባቸው። ሌሎቹ እርስዎ የጠቀሱዋቸው በሙሉ ዘረኝነት የሌለበት ሀገሮችም ህዝብ የሚጠይቃቸው ጥያቄዎች ናቸው።
    ሌላው ስለቀድሞው ግብጽ መሪ አንስተዋል፦ የቀድሞው የእስላም ወንድማማቾች መሪ ሙርሲ ዲሞክራሲያዊ አልነበረም የአሁኑ ወታደራዊ አገዛዝ ግን ዲሞክራሲያዊ ነው የሚሉት? “የግብጹ ወታደራዊ ዲክታተር ሲሲ መንግስት ማንኛውም ወታደራዊ መፈንቅለ መንግስቱን የሚቃወም ሁሉ እስር ቤት ይወረወራል የሚል መመሪ አውጥቷል።” http://wakeupfromyourslumber.com/egypt-to-criminalize-insulting-revolutions/
    “ሁለት የግብጽ አርቲስቶች ሲሲን ስልተቃወሙ ክስ ተመስርቶባቸዋል” https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/africa/15657-two-egyptian-artists-accused-of-treason-for-criticising-
    “ወደ 200 የሚጠጉትን የሞት ፍርድ ፈርደውባቸዋል”
    http://12160.info/page/egypt-another-mass-death-sentence-188-people-defense-attorney-say and http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/149740/egypt-court-sentences-188-morsi-supporters-to-death
    ራሱ የአምነስቲሰ ኢንተርናሽናል ድምጽ የለም። የሚገርመው ደግሞ ሙባረክን ከጥፋት ነጻ አድርገውታል። : http://investmentwatchblog.com/mubarak-cleared-of-murder-and-corruption-charges/

    ቅኝ ገዢዎች ዲሞክራሲ የሚለውን ትርጉም በሁለት መልኩ ነው የሚጠቀሙት፦ አንደኛው ለኛ ሁለተኛው ለነሱ
    እነሱ ዲሞክራሲ የሚለው ትርጉም ላላደጉት ሃገሮች የሚተረጉምት ማፍረስ እንደ ማለት ነው። ለምሳሌ ያህል የላቲንኛው ቃል “DE” አፍራሽ ቃል ነው።
    Destruction, Degradation, Decomposition, Decapitation, Devaluation, Deviation, debt(credit), Degenerate, Delinquent (like a moron), Defloration, etc. Because the prefix “DE” means destruction. do you think that DEMOCRACY is the only exception to the rule? they just laugh over the poor people’s!
    divide(break) the word simply not just because they tell you – DEMO-CRACY, and on DE-MOC-RACY. Then the classic Webster’s dictionary tells you the meaning of the root word “MOC”! http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mock

  16. aha!
    | #16

    I go along with comments of Aklog at #1 and Abdi @ #3 in terms of participation in the 2015 election, a failed attempt from the preconditions for fair and free election and Code of Conduct Agreement prior to 2010 election to which the current OPDO/EFDF/Medrek/fdre did not participate, which is also a matter for UDJP members to decide upon, not the public in the diaspora, other to comment on the decisions made by the members of UDJP party. Even at that UDJP’s decision is part of the puzzle, without putting KAEUP, and others into consideration. What happened with the merger between KAEUP and UDJP, and what is the involvement of UDJP with OPDO/EFDF/Medrek/EUDF/fdre of coalition created before 2010 election? How does UDJP function this time around in terms of attracting votes for Medrek in 2010 election in the Amhara and tigre regions based on ethnic rather than national agenda this time around, where in the past took votes from KAEUP and others from the Amhara and TIGrai regions, in the popular votes?.

  17. LostHere
    | #17

    @ Abegaz,

    “If Dawi is honest, HD has no legal right to stay as PM of Ethiopia because he represents less than 2% of the representatives within the government structure. If ethnicity is the bible of EPRDF there is no way HD can remain as PM of Ethiopia.”

    There right there lies your lack of understanding for what the EPRDF stands. It is you who is arguing the “Tigreans” as minority has no place to lead the country not the EPRDF. By your definition only the Oromos should post a PM for as long as they are the majority – I know you may want to contest that they are in the majority (amhara is your forte).
    So, stop arguing against yourself. HD can remain as long as the EPRDF is winning and wanted him to stay at the helm – that is their policy and the power structure of parliamentarian governments.

  18. Abegaz
    | #18

    LostHere,

    No man!! you have no idea of representation. If you organize yourself representing an ethnic group, you will only have such number of seats. No more no less. You can’t get what you have not produced. EPRDF is a front and not a unitary party. So the one with the highest number of seats in the front ought to get the higher positions. OPDO itself cannot even take the premiership because it is not 51%. But it has the potential to get it if it gets support by one major group. So that is how the numbers work. TPLF cannot eat the cake and have it too. It does not work like that in a democracy. You either organise based on ideology or ethicity.

  19. LostHere
    | #19

    @Abegaz

    “TPLF cannot eat the cake and have it too.”????????????
    it’s astounding on itself that how little you know about parliamentarian form of government, let alone EPRDF. Grow up man, EPRDF is a party which happens to govern a country. There is no such “ethnicity” allocations within the party itself. To the extent you are talking about composition of the electoral college, that has nothing to do with ministerial assignments. The PM, chosen by the members of each party, has the full discretion to assign posts as he/she them fit. Nothing more, nothing less. Before you start calling names, you better grasp what you are trying to say first.

  20. Kaleb
    | #20

    Abigaz
    The idea of “minority cannot lead” is precisely the reason why the Tigray people created TPLF, whether we like it or not. Minority/majority is not about numbers but influence everything about Abyssinia has its basis in Tigray.But the Shewan dynasty marginalized Gondar Tigrat etc. Even Eritrea under HSelassie was treated better than Tigray. Well the Tigreans said we can not be sidelined and forgotten, we have to assert ourselves. (Read Gebrehiwot Baikedgn’s book “Atse Minilik….”)
    Of course they have to recognize they can not marginalize others. Mind you EPRDF is not equivalent to TPLF whether we exaggerate or underestimate TPLF’s influence. While it is legitimate to oppose EPRDF for any policy/action, much of the anatagonism also comes from the misguided idea that “minority can not lead”. Well they did and it is foolishness to call them anymore “minority”.
    Abugida: this is just an idea for discussion..hope will tolerate it

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