Ruling coalition in Ethiopia is now morphed into a single united national party. It will re-brand itself as Ethiopian Prosperity Party(EPP). TPLF voted against it which means that it will not be part of it.
Ethiopia’s ruling coalition, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), has made a landmark decision on Saturday closing one long chapter in the history of the organization and opening a new one.
The coalition was formed sometime in 1988 as a leftist organization based on “revolutionary democracy” under the leadership of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) towards the end of decades-old armed struggle against colonel Mengistu Hailemariam’s administration.
Until April 2018, that is the time when Abiy Ahmed from what was then called Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) became prime minister, TPLF dominated Federal government meddled with the affairs of other regional states organized on the basis of ethnicity.
It was soon after Abiy Ahmed became prime minister that the ruling coalition, which constitute four ethic parties, began to discuss transforming the coalition into a single united party – an idea that was raised during the organizational conferences and shelved indefinitely.
Today, the coalition has made the final decision and it will no longer be a coalition party but a united single party.
It was the executive committee of the coalition that passed the decision. According to a report by state affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC), majority of the executive members voted in favor of ending coalition era which was marked by deepening division among Ethiopians along ethnic lines. Especially in the past three years, ethnic based violence became prevalent to a point where citizen’s right to work and live in different parts of the country became risky. Thousands were killed and millions of people were internally displaced.
Fekadu Tesema, a member of the executive committee member, told state media Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation that the executive committee meeting discussed issues that need attention under the new arrangement. Strengthening the federal system and developing administrative system while maintaining language diversity, ethnic identity and national identity were among the top agenda in the executive committee meeting.
The executive committee is expected to discuss draft party program starting tomorrow, according to a report by Fana Broadcasting Corporation.
Only six members of the executive committee members of the ruling coalition voted against the proposal to transform the organization’s existence into a single united national party – which is poised to be named as, according to information from insiders, Ethiopian Prosperity Party (EPP).
The six members executive committee who voted against the proposal are from TPLF. And it did not come as a surprise since TPLF has issued a statement sometime in October claiming that the decision to transform the coalition into a single party would trigger disintegration of the country.
On the other hand, Four other parties that have been described as “agar” (sister parties) see the decision as a move in the right direction for the previous arrangement was discriminatory.
Parties governing Afar region, Benishangul region, Gambella region and Somali region of Ethiopia were considered as part of the ruling coalition, EPRDF, but they did not have voting privileges and did not have membership in the executive committee and central committee which means that they was no possibly for leaders from these parties to hold the highest office in the country. But that ends with the end of the coalition. It is a new chapter for the ruling party , and perhaps to Ethiopia too.