TPLF to Hold Emergency Meeting on United National Party

By Staff Reporter   

Debretsion-TPLF-Merger-IssueNovember 27, 2019 ( -- The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has not reached a final decision whether it will join the recently formed United National Party, Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael, Chairman of the front has disclosed.

Debretsion’s remark came after TPLF in a statement announced it won’t dissolve for the sake of creating a united political party and its refusal to attend the extraordinary meeting of the council of Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) which unanimously approved the coalition’s conversion into a united party to be named as “Prosperity Party.”

Briefing journalists in Mekele, Debretsion said the final decision on the fate of the TPLF will be made during its general assembly to be held shortly even though its executive and central committee rejected the merger issue.

“It was not in the interest of the TPLF that the EPRDF Executive Committee discuss the merger issue two weeks ago," Dr. Debretsion said. "The TPLF was insisting on discussing current issues, including threats against peace and security, high cost of living and the upcoming national elections, but the committee decided to discuss the merger issue with a majority vote,” he added.

The TPLF leader further said: "The move was to disband the EPRDF, weaken the federal system and take away the rights of people to self-administration. The drive to form a united party does not consider the existing situations of the country. As legal entities, member parties of EPEDF cannot be dissolved by any party. It is impossible to dissolve national parties and form a united party just in a meeting. TPLF would be dissolved by the TPLF itself, not by the EPRDF."

"If we are not comfortable with the programs and essence of the new party, we will take our measure to ensure peace and security, maintain the multi-party system and play our part for the country’s peace and prosperity. We will work with political parties with similar ideologies. If pressure comes, we will respond."

"The people of Tigray will discuss the matter because the issue requires the consent of the people," he added.

Reports have said senior EPRDF’s officials, including Seyoum Mesfin, Kassu Ilala, Abadula Gemeda, and Girma Birru are meeting in Mekele to mediate the TPLF and Abiy’s government.

The EPRDF’s 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).

According to Debretsion, six members of TPLF’s executive committee participated in the EPRDF executive meeting and later Chairman of EPRDF Dr. Abiy Ahmed (Prime Minister of Ethiopia) requested us to reconsider the merger issue on which TPLF has not changed its previous decision.

"The drive to change EPRDF into a unified party was carried out in breach of the front’s bylaws and was rather establishing a new party under the guise of merger," Debretsion said

According to Debretsion, who is also vice president of the Tigray regional state, the TPLF has called for an emergency meeting to decide on whether it will join the newly formed United National Party.

Meanwhile, EPRDF affiliate parties including the Ethiopian Somali People's Democratic Party (ESPDP), Benishangul Gumuz People’s Democratic Unity Party (BGPDP), Afar National Democratic Party (ANDP), and Gambela People's Democratic Movement (GPDM) have announced to dissolve their respective political parties to join the “Prosperity Party.”

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