Four Ethiopia-Wide Political Parties Agree to Work Together
December 22, 2018 (Ezega.com) - Four Ethiopia-wide political parties have reportedly agreed to work together, according to press event held yesterday.
In the press conference, the parties disclosed that the Patriotic Ginbot 7 Movement, Semayawi (Blue), Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP) and the former Unity Party have agreed to work together.
The nature of the agreed upon collaboration is unknown, as is whether that will include unity among them or not.
The Ginbot 7 Movement met with its members and supporters to discuss the country’s current political situation and its future structure of the movement.
Ginbot 7 leaders indicated the party is ready to restructure itself, change its name if necessary, and work with other political parties wanting to pursue citizen-based politics.
Professor Berhanu Nega, Chairman of Patriotic Ginbot 7, said the Movement will do all it can to build genuine democracy in the country.
Ethiopian politics is currently dominated by region-based and ethnic-based parties. Ethiopia-wide parties, such as EDP and Semayawi, are few and small and, at present, they all have very little clout in the country's political landscape.
The ruling party, EPRDF (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front), is a coalition of ethnic-based parties. Several organizations that returned from exile recently are are also ethnic-based organizations, such as the OLF (Oromo Liberation Front), the ONLF (Ogaden National Liberation Front), and Tigray Alliance for National Democracy (TAND).
There is a fear among many close Ethiopian observers that ethnic politics has gone too far and for too long under the EPRDF rule, and it poses the single greatest threat to the stability and unity of the country. Ethnic-based clashes and disputes across the country abound, as is the breakdown of rule of law and order in parts of the country.
Recent estimates indicates that, currently, there are about 80 political parties operating in Ethiopia. Most of these parties are ethnic-based and small, with of some having no more than a few dozen members. In a conference held recently in Addis Ababa, which Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed addressed, several opposition party leaders stressed the need for merger and unity among these parties.