“I am a strong man of politics” – Kihdetu exalts himself while Birtukan exalts “Kinijit” – CapitalEthiopia

January 14th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

Lidetu Ayalew, chairman of EUDP-Medhin, is one of the influential figures of opposition party politics in the last 17 years. He has traveled a long journey from youth council leader of AAPO becoming a vocal member of parliament. (more…)

Lidetu Ayalew, chairman of EUDP-Medhin, is one of the influential figures of opposition party politics in the last 17 years. He has traveled a long journey from youth council leader of AAPO becoming a vocal member of parliament.

As of the May 2005 historical election and the crisis which followed and after his early departure from the CUD, he became a controversial image of Ethiopian politics of the last two years. With many people thinking of him as the primary reason for the fragmentation of the CUD, last week, Capital’s Abiy Demilew took a moment with him for an exclusive interview.

Capital: Two years after the historical May 2005 elections, how do you characterize current Ethiopian politics?

Lidetu Ayalew: We have to see this issue from different angles. In my perspective, the pre-election process had been of significant value where many things were slightly opened up. The public, for the first time in its history, believed in bringing change by the ballot-box and marked a huge participation; most of us were able to see the fruit of the struggle of the last 14 years and were satisfied. But after the election we have seen that stray in the wrong direction by the mishandling of political forces.

What are the negative implications?

Lidetu Ayalew: That situation has diminished hopes and geared aback the wheel of Ethiopian politics to where it used to be 14 years ago. Afterwards, we have seen the public trust and interest in elections and peaceful struggle and politics being seriously damaged to the extent where people hate to hear and talk about politics anymore.

However, as long as we could learn from it as the opposition, the ruling party and the society as a whole, there will be a time when we will talk about it as a positive experience.

But, looking back at the two year in which we could have taken our historical chances, I still feel like we have wasted the opportunity we could have had played in the country’s democratic process.

Capital: Can we say the democratic process has been reversed?

Lidetu Ayalew: Yes somewhat yes. But it does not mean that it is hopeless. As a politician I don’t believe in giving up hope. Rising and falling should be learnt to be natural in this kind of process. We shouldn’t give up even though some things have been reversed. However the whole positive vibration could resurface as long as we all have taken a good lesson out of it. If we fail to do that, we might not be able to see that public sentiment again.

Our party [EUDP-Medhin] has learnt a lot from that momentum. We have evaluated ourselves and restructured the party’s strategic steps ahead. We have now moved into a new phase by introducing a third alternative in Ethiopian politics where we have replaced absolute hatred and support by reasonable political thought process.

We have admitted to be a part of the problem and have decided to be part of the solution as well. I think the other parties, including the ruling party, should also do the same to bring a better future to the country.

Capital: Looking at the current fragmentation of the CUD, what do you think would have happened if you had taken power two years ago?

Lidetu Ayalew: The CUD had problems in evaluating and sighting the line-up of different political forces at that time. We also had differences in marking the strategic goals of the party. These were the reasons why we had to part ways at that time.

We had differences on various issues even before the election such as in forecasting election results. My party’s expectation was that CUD will win Addis Ababa and garner significant numbers of seats in the parliament. But others in the party were in expectation of total victory and the assumption of the power.

Even after the election, we had a solid difference in joining the parliament or not. We in EUDP-Medhin believed in taking that chance even though the whole world knew the election results were rigged. Yet again, nobody wanted to listen to us. Unfortunately what happened afterwards had been just like our predictions.

I think it would have been a big challenge if we had taken power in Addis Ababa even with all those differences. Now, that big party, which had fought to be a government, has fallen in to a fight to reclaim its name, office, symbol and etc.

Capital: What do you think are the reasons for the fragmentation of the CUD?

Lidetu Ayalew: Everybody thinks that the CUD was very united. That’s where the problem is. We wouldn’t have walked out if there were that much unity.
The current fragmentation might appear new to the public, but not for us. What’s happening now is the same as what we’ve seen two years ago.

They seemed to be united, leaving their differences behind, only to address the public expectations of change, to be a government and to attack those of us considered as future threats.

I’m not surprised to see the CUD fragmented in to four groups, but the question is will it stop fragmenting?

The problem arises from not having a common binding program or agenda to not even knowing each other personally.

Capital: Differences are not to be expected in parties?

Lidetu Ayalew: This depends on the overall political culture we have. Ethiopia has never had a democratic culture in its history. It is only in the last few years that we have started talking about multi party politics and democracy so we are in the infancy age.

The country’s politics right now is just black or white. There is no gray area in between. If you’re not on one side, then you’re considered to be not only an enemy but also destructive. This shows how much we have failed to accept the existence of many alternatives. So the way we handle ideological differences happens to be undemocratic. This is the reflection of the whole social system which needs a total structural transformation.

This was also one of the reasons we had to abstain from the CUD. The leadership was not ready to tolerate new ideas and procedures. After our departure, what they’ve been doing was what I call character assassination in different ways of defamation.

I think our political culture still remains the same to Emperor Mineilik’s era.

Capital: Do you think opposition parties are contributing to the country’s democratic process?

Lidetu Ayalew: We have been in the struggle for 16 years and singing the same song “EPRDF is hated; there will be a power takeover shortly” and etc. Now, after all these years, what we are seeing now is not only that the EPRDF is still the ruling power, but also frustrated opposition supporters turning their faces towards this party. So if there was a strong opposition party of bigger values, the political situation in the country would have been different now

The main problem in opposition parties is the absence of the culture of self-criticism and democratic culture within the parties themselves. The opposition has fallen in a complicated and muddy situation from which it has failed to come out of.

In this case, the EPRDF is doing better after the election. The election has taught them they could no more continue in how they used to be. They are now looking closer to the community and trying to address the problems we had raised during the election.

Capital: Your personal and political character became controversial and bound with different labels in the last two years. Books have been written about you. But how do you define your own character?

Lidetu Ayalew: I admit that I’m the most controversial figure in the last two years. But the reason why I’ve been given different labels is because I’m a strong man of politics who has his own ideas and ways. This is a healthy reaction when you are in politics.

People who are writing books about me now are those people who used to wish my death two years ago. They are doing this because I’m a strong political actor who is not following the same old ways of opposition. We have challenged the existing traditional way of opposing just to oppose.

Capital: Do you think Ethiopia and Eritrea will go to war again?

Lidetu Ayalew: I don’t think war will be start since both nations understand the outcome of any war.


  1. kendie
    | #1

    The graphics said it all!!!!!!!!

  2. Dawit
    | #2

    What a little man on no value. It is not good to have such an inflated view of oneself. He joined the puppet Parliament so he can receive some ‘frefari’ from his masters. EUDP-Medhin is a one man show. Without Kinijit he would not have won a single seat. Poor (k)ledetu, No respect from the Ethiopian people, No respect from Woyane just because you got to legs, you can not climb two trees. What we got here is a tendency to split in two. This will clearly result in a dysfunctioning human. Do us a favor and disappear.

  3. Allen 12
    | #3

    Shame on you for all your dirty words. Your and uncle “zenawi’s”
    times are counting in seconds.
    You will face justice for all your crimes/
    Ethiopia will prevail.

  4. guytu
    | #4

    Lidetu is great than those thosand cud

  5. sem yelesh
    | #5

    God saved Ethiopia using Lidetu as his messenger.

    What would happen if Lidetu stayed with in kinijit resisting the Brihanu and k.demenas verbal war against him fearing he is the promise child to Ethiopia and they get nothing before him and they also could not use age to blackmail such as against Hilue shawel? It would be a catastrophe.
    Member of the Lidetu party have won the vast majority seats in Addis. The hailue shawel party has won other cities all over the country and in the rural areas too. Keste demena has won only 5 seats and the other party two seats. As a result someone from the lidetu party had to become mayor of Addis. Birhanu knew about and you know what he did to eliminate Lidetu by any means from the party. As soon as the Lidetu party left kinijit, he himself asked to be appointed as Mayer of Addis.

    Birhanu is not elected but appointed by weak kinijit to become Mayor. He is just an appointee for political reason not even confirmed. So, stop calling “he is Mayer of Addis.” You have no idea who you are supporting. Individuals like him are stabbing the nation from the back for their personal benefit.
    What would happen if he became Mayer of Addis, it would be the worst scenario Ethiopia ever has faced. He would/will sell Ethiopia to anybody if he gets power or money from it.

    Do you know the joke during Seytan Mengistu era? When Someone heard a slogan saying, “we will not sell Ethiopia …” . he replied “we… people are smart. If we get money we can sell anything. So, we must sell Ethiopia in order to live a good life. To those money and power minded, the country is less than their ego and benefit thinking the country is one of the goods to sell in mercato where they grown up and thinking with that environment mentality.

    Thank you Lidetu for saving Ethiopia by being an advocate to the destruction of Kinijit that had no vision where to go and what to do. H. shawel also made a big mistake by allying his party with Traders party (keste damena) that was created to sell Ethiopia misleading the uneducated Ethiopians with degrees any body can get them if there is a chance to every body. Ethiopia doesn’t need educated people that are happy to show their degree and demanding to be called Dr. and the likes. we must not allow those bastards using their education level to cheat the people in order to get what they what affecting the rest. We have to oppose and expose those so called educated but using their education for negative purpose and admire and support those less educated but fully participating to improve the Ethiopian situation. We also need to stop calling Dr or the likes in politics. We need to see doctors in the health and education sector not in politics where smart taking is ruling the environment. Let Birhanu go to school to give education for young Ethiopians rather than talking shits in the internet.

    At one moment i opposed Lidetu. But when things became clear, I apologised him in my mind. He needs to continue with his party and convince the confused Ethiopian people surrounding him. He as a young and very talented and well-tested politicians need to take responsibilities in order to oppose and expose the merchants (traders) group (keste demena) that are secret members to anti Ethiopian elements. He also needs to reconcile his differences in personal level with the AEDP and be an opposition against the govt the way that would help the country. Having civilised opposition party(ies) is also good to the govt and the country. But don’t mess about our country fundamental issues. When it comes about that the govt and oppositions need to become as one. But I don’t expect this from any merchant that sees the country as one of the mercato goods for sell.
    Ethiopians in Diaspora also have to see the situation very critically from all direction and forgive and give another chance to Lidetu. He is a brave and real politicians. I admire his ability as politician the same way I do to Meles. Meles made many mistakes, yet I admire his political game. If he gets more love and respect to Ethiopia, I will choose him to become the life time leaders as long as he is functioning the best way.

  6. solomon
    | #6

    Melese is one of the dishonest politician I ever know in this planet.He is the cause of all the problems we have.So Lidetu too.HOw is Lidetu save Ethiopia ? He is idiot ,politics is his bread, in anyway,as long as he got his bread he doesnot care to do whatever he need to do.

    He is the one who sale CUD strugle to the Gangs in Arat Killo(Woyane) for 30 buck as Juda sold Jesus.

    I hope Lidetu’s and his boss Zenawi’s time is getting out of track.They are played thier diry game irresponsibily as much as they can.

    So Lidetu go to hell with YOur boss Zenawi.

  7. Negash
    | #7

    I want to thank to the person(s) who is creating the cartoon. That expreses a lot. Ethiopians, let us unite against EPRDF/TPLF. That is the only solution.

  8. zeze
    | #8

    Lidetu said “EPRDF has learnt lessons from the election and now is serving the people closely”. If the government he is opposing is serving the public well why even oppose it? Lidetu is definietly Kehadi,how is the government any better than before 2005 for the people?all news papers have been stopped, not able to gather or demonstrate, most websites are blocked, life is more expensive than it ever was.

  9. jebilo
    | #9

    Why you deleted my comments?

    Only one sided blog is almost a Dead Blog.Abugida’s you want only to see comments criticizing the government,if it criticizes an opposition,you delet it!Shame on you.This is not civilized way.Really,i will question are you blogging from america or saudiarabia?if you live in america…please,learn freedom of speech…before,censoring comments

  10. kundi
    | #10

    W/zo Sem Yelesh … do you think a person elected to parliament (lidetu) should be the mayor? Because the winners most of them are from Lidetu personal pary? I don’t think you the basics. Behanu did ran for Civic government and he won and then elected by Civic council memebers as a mayor. Is this not what happened. Lidetu is not an opposition. Do you what opposition does? It holds the gov hands to fire. Now lidetu says the gov is doing everything they have been saying and I am sure he will declare soon that there is no need for opposition. He has to learn first what the function of opposition is.

  11. sinidu
    | #11

    Dear Abugida,

    PLEAS, PLEASE, remove khidetu’s picture.
    THIS DIRT SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM OUR RESSPECTED SITE. You may leave his arrogant blah, blah the whole world can see how low he is. But his photo doesn’t deserve to be here.

    This Kehadi, who sold his colleagues and his soul. He is the main source of all these problems that we see today.

  12. | #12

    Do we really have the time to mocker about Lidetu at this very moment our country is looking to her sons and dougthers to help her out of this.Please stop gosiping and lets start working where we had stoped ositivelly oposing[Miazia 30]1997{May 2005}

  13. | #13

    Do you know that Lidetu is paid as an opposition Leader. You have to understand him
    for living he needs money and the only person
    willing to feed him was aboy Sebhat. In order
    to get money you have to do what your master
    said,some did it in Dc in a restaurant,some
    are professor’s in the uni and Lidetu is higher ed opposition in parliament to support his income, it looks comic or call it funny, but it is his job.

  14. | #14

    Gays,beleive or not Lidetu is better than the rest of CUD dectators. please stop suporeting those who run for hrone.

  15. Alew
    | #15

    As Politician he give his opinion, Do you think Shawel and the others leading the country with their difference? I will live this question for Ethiopian People…….

  16. MEDIFU
    | #16

    kihidetu stands for defendig woyane behind the scene .he has no agenda than confusing ethiopian youth who is strugling woyane under different democratic opposion parties including cudp. how he dares to be named and calassified himself along with those respected vissionary ethiopians like dr berhanu and other cud leaders. he is lucky person live in ethiopia peacefully after betraying ethiopian youth who supported him during the may2005 election. he addmitted how he is controversial guy he is . ya is asserting zat his role is not more than woyane and foreign agent.

Comments are closed.