No Force Will Stop Ethiopia from Finishing GERD Project - Prime Minister Abiy

By Staff Reporter

PM-Abiy-GERDOctober 22, 2019 ( -- No force would stop Ethiopia from finishing the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said.

Responding to questions from Members of the House of People’s Representatives on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the GERD project would be accomplished on the principles of safeguarding Ethiopia’s rights and benefits, and scientific knowledge and without harming the downstream countries.   

The people of Ethiopia do not have any intention to harm the people of Egypt or Sudan, the premier said. The premier added, Egypt would rather benefit from collaborating with Ethiopia on creating favorable weather conditions in the highlands of Ethiopia.

The premier said he would try to convince Ethiopia’s stand on GERD during his planned discussion with the Egyptian president on Wednesday, but he stressed no force would stop Ethiopia from finishing the GERD project.

Speaking about the upcoming elections, the premier stressed the need to conduct the elections as per the schedule amid challenges the nation is facing currently.

“By conducting the upcoming elections, we would be beneficiaries in many ways. It would be challenging, but we can succeed if we work together,” Abiy said.

The government is willing to step down and hand over power to the winning political party in the upcoming elections, he added.

He recalled that the revised electoral law was drafted by the NEBE and endorsed by the parliament without involving even the cabinet members.

Speaking about complaints of political parties against the recently endorsed electoral law, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the grievances emanated from their weaknesses and not from understanding the electorate.

It is to be recalled that about 70 political parties filed complaints on more than 90 articles of the recently endorsed electoral law.  The 70 parties had planned to hold a hunger strike on October 16, 2019, before it was postponed to November 5-6, 2019.

Commenting on the controversy surrounding the formation of one party, replacing the ruling EPRDF coalition, the premier said the issue will be solved through discussions. However, the Prime Minister denounced the idea of those parties who claimed Ethiopia would disintegrate if the ruling coalition dissolves. He was referring to a recent statement from the TPLF which characterized the move to one party system as illegal.

“The idea that Ethiopia will go crumbling in the absence of EPRDF stem from ignorance. It is not appropriate to associate the unity of Ethiopia with the existence of a political party,” the premier added.

“It is always good to be open to dialogue. The idea of forming a single multinational party would be decided on a majority vote and any party which is not interested to merge will withdraw,” Abiy stressed.

The premier warned foreign media owners engaged in disseminating what he called “wrong information” and demanded that they refrain from their misleading deeds. “The government has been patient because it wants to widen freedom of speech, he added. “We would take the necessary measures against them if they continue challenging the existence of the nation regardless of whether they speak Amharic or Oromiffa,” Abiy declared. He did not provide any specifics as to who these media are.

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