UDJ starts to stretch legs despite claims and lies from rumor mills – By Kirubel Tadesse(Capital)

October 29th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

Despite the claimed narrowing of political space for the opposition, the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) has opened its first batch of offices in various parts of the country, Capital learned. (more…)

Despite the claimed narrowing of political space for the opposition, the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) has opened its first batch of offices in various parts of the country, Capital learned.

Amending the endorsed budget of 7.3 million birr to more than 8 million birr UDJ has sets a goal of opening 117 offices across the country this year alone.

Officially launching this project which is seen as an effort to position the party well ahead of the 2010 national elections, UDJ is currently working to open thirty offices in various cites in a month’s period.

“The first office was opened on October 21 in Desie and the second a day later in Woldeya,” UDJ Deputy Chair in charge of Public Relations, Hailu Araaya (PhD), told Capital this week. “Also as a target, the delegation that travels north to facilitate the opening of these offices will talk to people who are facing charges following 2005 elections, “Hailu explained. This delegation is led by party Chair Birtukan Medksa and Deputy Chair MP Temesgen Zewide.

Another delegation left to eastern parts of the country where offices in Asela and Balegoba areas will open. Deputy Chair Gizachew Shiferaw (Eng.), also led a delegation dispatched to Gojam areas [Bahir Dar, Debermarkos, Gonder, Debertabore and neighboring parts of Ethiopia] last Saturday.

Also support groups that facilitate organization are dispatched in most areas of the South like Osaena area where two offices are already in operation. The party covered cites like Awassa, Dila and Yergalem, all three offices are already operational, according to Hailu.

The delegations target not only opening offices but also electing temporary leadership that would recruit members and accordingly elect permanent leaders. Members of Parliament who joined UDJ after their Whip brokered from the so-called Birtukan Group are in charge of some areas for the organization of the party’s structure.

“So far so good, “Hailu said explaining that the party didn’t face any restrictions from local or other bodies. “It may come and we have to cope,” Hailu added.

UDJ’s stretch was what Chair Birtukan set as priority in a Capital exclusive in which she stressed a well established party structure is what she aspires to leave at the end of her two years in leadership.

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