Tag Archives: Prosperity Party

The new dominant party in Ethiopia delays democratization

22 Mar

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Ethiopia Insight


As EPRDF’s successor, Prosperity Party will assume its suffocating role

Despite being the oldest independent country in Africa, Ethiopia has no experience of peaceful, let alone democratic, transfers of power. In fact, throughout much of its history, transitions from one regime to the next have invariably been shrouded in intrigue or marred by bloodshed. The last two rounds of power transfer for which we have a living memory (the ascent to power of the Derg in 1974 and its removal in 1991) involved unimaginable cruelty and the death of an untold number of people. Even the so-called democratic elections in recent years have been accompanied by violence, which at its peak in 2005 claimed the lives of more than 300 protesters in Addis Ababa alone. As a result, every potential change of power in Ethiopia raises fears of tumult of some kind.

The rise to power of the current Prime Minster, Abiy Ahmed, has all the hallmarks of a change of power (but technically it is not). Although the groundswell of protests that brought him to power cost many lives, all the subsequent changes of laws and regulations that transformed the political landscape in the country went largely peacefully. That is partly what seems to have generated a tenuous hope for peaceful democratization through an election, which we are led to expect in a few months’ time in August. This upcoming election is to be seen as a critical test for many things. On one hand, it will test the Prime Minister’s ability to act on his promises and fulfill the unprecedented, constitutional assurance of assuming power through the ballot box. On the other, it sadly could demonstrate that our optimism was either ill-founded or premature.

It is pertinent to ask why changes involving violence and instability have dominated governance in Ethiopia for so long. In my opinion, the burning demand at the heart of the long-standing discontent has always centered on the right to self-rule at local level. Somewhat overlooked, and, at times, dangerously underestimated, is the extent of centuries-long resentment harbored by people of the southern part of the country towards administration from Addis Ababa, ever since their incorporation into modern-day Ethiopia. For many nationalities, being part of Ethiopia has meant the loss of their language, culture, religion, and land.

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የብልፅግና ፓርቲ ሕገ ወጥ ተግባራት! የአመራር ማን አለብኝንቱ ካለፉትም ቅጥ ያጣ ነው!

28 Feb

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)







Oromo nationalism in the era of Prosperity Party: A point of view

23 Feb

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Nagessa Dube, Ethiopia Insight, February 23, 2020

“It is widely agreed that the two things Ethiopia needs most are democratic progress and economic prosperity. In order to achieve these, strong political leadership is necessary. Oromo nationalists could play a critical role in providing that leadership, but to do so they must begin to see their history as Ethiopian history, since in truth they also played a huge role in nation building. The traditional Oromo nationalist narrative of oppression at the hands of highlanders must be recognized as incomplete, at best.

Right now, it makes little sense for Oromo nationalists to simply skulk away, demanding more regional power and rights, and aligning themselves with increasingly isolated elements like the OLF. If Oromo nationalist groups can instead put aside old fears and accept that dwelling on the past is counterproductive, they can seize the great opportunity of this political moment to lead the country from the centre of the federation alongside the likes of Abiy. There is no telling how much positive influence they can then exert in shaping a stronger and more stable Ethiopia.”

When Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed proposed merging the parties comprising the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and forming a new entity called the Prosperity Party in 2019, few people believed he could or should try to accomplish it in the few months before the next election.

Changing the brand, if not completely the substance of the group that ruled Ethiopia since the communist junta was overthrown in 1991 was generally seen as a wise move, but not within such a short period of time. Even a key reform leader and current Defense Minister Lemma Megersa questioned the timing.  Nevertheless, Abiy went ahead.

The EPRDF was rooted in ‘revolutionary democracy’, a Leninist-Maoist ideology that maintains the fiction of democracy while in reality, monopolizing power under a single ruling clique. The EPRDF continued to teach this ideology to its cadres, using China and other one-party Asian states such as North Korea as political models. The EPRDF had no intention of democratizing Ethiopia, except in the perverse sense of ‘revolutionary democracy.’

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ኢትዮጵያ እንደ አፄ ቴዎድሮስ ያለ መሪ ዳግም ያስፈልጋት ይሆን?

9 Jan

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)




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