Two Oromo Political Organizations, ODP and ODF, Agree to Merge

Lencho-Leta-Lemma-MegerssaNovember 28, 2018 (Ezega.com) - The Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) and the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) have agreed to merge and become one party, according to FBC report.

The two Oromo political organizations signed the merger deal in Addis Ababa today.

Lemma Megersa, the Deputy Chairperson of ODP and chief administrator of Oromia regional state, and Lencho Leta, chairman of ODF signed the Memorandum of Understanding.

According to ODP spokesperson, Addisu Arega, the two organizations do not have much differences in strategy and programs and the unification will allow the two organizations to work together.

Technical committee will be established to work out details of the merger between the two organizations soon, he said.

ODP, which was formerly knows as OPDO (Oromo People's Democratic Organization), is one of the four political organizations forming the ruling party EPRDF (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front). After recent changes spearheaded by the current Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the ODP has come out as the leading and dominant organization within the EPRDF, replacing the once mightyTigrayan Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF).

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is the chair of both the ODP and the EPRDF.

According its website, the ODF was formed in exile in 2013 with the hope of going home to be with its people and conduct a nonviolent political struggle. The Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) decided from its inception to pursue the path of nonviolent political struggle to defend the rights of the Oromo and other peoples, and secure freedom, justice, democracy, and prosperity for all.

The leader of ODF, Lencho Letta, is an experienced Ethiopian politician who was a founding member of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), before leaving the organization and later forming the ODF. He was the Deputy Secretary General of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) from 1974 to 1995. In Late 1990s, Lencho left OLF leadership due to ideological differences. He is currently the leader of Oromo Democratic front, which was formed in 2013.

The merger between the two Oromo political organizations ahead of the upcoming elections in 2020 is expected to strengthen their hand inside Oromia politics, against their main competitor, the OLF. The OLF had a rocky start early on in relation to OLF's armed operations inside the country, which the Ethiopian government and the ODP condemned.


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