Ethiopia: Solve Country’s Governance Crises – BY Mammo Muchie, Business Daily (Nairobi)

April 29th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

The regime in Ethiopia has been full of contrivance and deception in playing ‘democracy’ more as a game of deception rather than as a principle of governance to find workable arrangements with moral, intellectual and political integrity to solve the age-old governance problems of the country. (more…)

The regime in Ethiopia has been full of contrivance and deception in playing ‘democracy’ more as a game of deception rather than as a principle of governance to find workable arrangements with moral, intellectual and political integrity to solve the age-old governance problems of the country.

Very often and invariably, this is what the regime does to the people when it plays the so- called democracy game. This is how they do it: the regime invites the people for an election charade only to disabuse them when they vote for the candidates or parties of their choice by harassing those not toeing the official line backed by the military and police might at its disposal.

Why the regime prefers to go through the motion of an election, when it has literally zero interest or commitment to honour the choices and voices of the people particularly when they vote for opposition party candidates, strikes any impartial observer as nothing else but activities that are supremely diversionary, opportunistic, cynical and immoral. It is the regime’s indulgence which appears to be a cruel joke on the people.

It would have been more honest not to play the multi-party game when in reality the regime knows that it has neither the intention nor the courage to afford to relinquish power through the verdict of the people based on their free votes, voices and choices.

It would have been honest not to disabuse the people by dishing out voting cards and calling them out to vote when the regime has no intention to honour the results especially when the votes goes against the candidates it fielded to continue and prolong its tenure.

The recent boycott of the local elections by even the loyal opposition shows, if it proves anything that the regime has regressed far beyond anything one expected to happen away from the democratic gains that appeared during the May 2005 election. The regime is far from solving the governance crises with democracy.

If it has no principled commitment to solve the governance crisis, invariably it shows that it has no strategy to break out of the vicious cycle of food aid dependency.

To be sure, Ethiopia is one of the few countries that should benefit from creating a system where political transitions come through competing parties that must also have the culture and maturity to consult each other.

It is far too late for Ethiopia to be in a situation where it is not able to create a political culture where political transition can take place without deception and violence by mounting proper discussion, conversation, debate, policy distillation and finally by means of votes and elections that are conducted with rules, norms and procedures that are open and accountable.

Dr Muchie is professor at Aalborg University in Denmark

Comments are closed.