TPLF Refuses to Attend EPRDF Council Meeting

By Staff Reporter

TPLF-not-attending-Council-meetingNovember 20, 2019 ( -- The Tigriyan Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) disclosed that it will not take part in the extraordinary meeting of the council of the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) scheduled for Thursday, November 21, 2019.

The EPRDF Council is composed of 180 members, 45 each from four member organizations, namely the TPLF, Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), and Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement (SEPDM).

The TPLF, in the just-released statement, said the executive committee of the EPRDF discussed the outcome of a study on the formation of a United National Party last weekend against the mandate bestowed to it by the law of the country.

According to the statement released, the EPRDF Executive Committee decided the party merger with sister parties and affiliated parties with a majority vote, the statement noted

The Council of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front is scheduled to meet on Thursday, November 21, 2019, to approve the bylaws of the newly merged party, called “Ethiopian Prosperity Party.”

“Based on the call made to the TPLF to decide on the united national party, the central committee of TPLF held discussion on the matter and has come up to the conclusion that EPRDF’s council does not have the legal and political mandate to pass decision on EPRDF merger," TPLF’s statement reads

The TPLF statement further claimed that the EPRDF Executive Committee meeting off-tracked its agenda, which was to deliberate on the study for the formation of a United National Party, but rather passed the decision to form a united party and, by doing so, the executive committee made one mistake after another.

The TPLF said it was inappropriate to call for another meeting while deliberation on the study to establish a united party was not finished and rushing to unwarranted decisions, the statement added.

“We don’t have the legal power to disengage TPLF under the guise of creating a united political party. We will also not attend the EPRDF Council meeting to endorse TPLF’s merger into the united party,” TPLF stressed  

TPLF’s decision on the united party will be made after discussions are held at different levels of the organization and the final decision will be made by its assembly and hence we will not participate in EPRDF’s meetings, the statement added.  

The Executive Committee of the EPRDF has already approved the merger of the coalition and programs of the newly merged party. It also endorsed the draft bylaws of the party and referred it to the EPRDF Council for approval.

Although the TPLF has been in favor of a unified party initially, it grew increasingly critical of the final move for various reasons. The TPLF leaders believe the move towards a unified party was done without due process and insufficient consultations within the four-member organization. They oppose the charge to unification without a clear ideology, such as the revolutionary democracy ideology the organization championed for so long. The TPLF also opposes the inclusion of affiliate parties in such deliberations.

 In October this year, the TPLF Central Committee called the plan to change EPRDF from a coalition to a one-party system 'illegal' and it will not take part in it.

Earlier in this round of meetings, six members of the TPLF Executive Members voted against the merger plan while two others abstained. The two who abstained are believed to Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael, the Chairman of the TPLF, and Keria Ibrahim, a member of the Executive Committees of the TPLF and EPRDF, and the head of Ethiopian House of Federation. The move by these two members has triggered all kinds of speculations in social media as to their intent.

Judging from a video footage made public from the meetings, the TPLF members appeared to be in a state of despair when the decision was passed.

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