Tag Archives: Pandemic-born opportunities

From his pulpit, amid a crisis, Abiy regally dismisses all opponents

11 May

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by René Lefort

After unilaterally deciding that Prosperity Party will govern until elections, the type of ruling system the Nobel laureate yearns for becomes clearer and clearer

History may show that last week was a decisive moment in the post-EPRDF era. Albeit a clear sign that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is heading in the wrong direction.

On 27 April, Prosperity Party’s Central Committee chose constitutional interpretation among the now famous four options to overcome the constitutional crisis: dissolving parliament; declaring a state of emergency; constitutional amendment; and constitutional interpretation. In advance, the government tasked a team of “highly reputable legal experts” to conduct an in-depth analysis. This was disclosed by the Prime Minister only ten days later in his 7 May address. The legal team’s composition is not public.

As if the four options were still on the table, Abiy then “consulted” opposition leaders about them on 29 and 30 April. He told his social media followers the meeting was “fruitful”, but on the occasion he also attacked the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

To the first, as one its former militant wing is engaged in an armed struggle in Wellega, he said: “You cannot stand on the peaceful and legal struggle and armed activity”. For the second: “practice democracy on your turf. You cannot repress in Tigray and demand a free and open forum in the Federal government”.  Furthermore, he condemned those political forces allegedly working with enemies of Ethiopia. He called them “banda”, the label for Ethiopians who collaborated with Italian invaders after 1935.

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