No to Prosperity Party, Yes to More Autonomy: TPLF

By Staff Reporter

TPLF-confJanuary 6, 2020 ( -- In a defiant move, the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) has decided that it will not join the Prosperity Party (PP) at the end of its extraordinary conference held over the weekend. According to several videos released, the tone of the just concluded conference was that of anger and defiance directed against central forces.

In a resolution issued on Sunday, TPLF said the merger with the PP is impractical owing to differences and opposing political outlooks and visions between the two parties.

In the extraordinary conference held for the first time in its 45-year history, the TPLF said its relations with the federal government will remain intact but will be executed based on the law of the country and that of the constitution.

TPLF in its eight-point resolution also said it will claim its share of properties of the recently demised Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition of regional parties that ruled the nation for 27 years.

EPRDF was established 30 years ago as a coalition of four standing political parties formed along ethnic lines, namely the TPLF, Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), and the Southern Ethiopian Peoples Democratic Movement (SEPDM).

In the long-awaited decision, TPLF said its executive members shall remain in their position. According to videos shown to the public, the party’s executive members were praised for making such difficult decisions regarding the EPRDF and the federal government in Addis Ababa.

TPLF warned any possible intervention from the federal government over issues affecting Tigray regional state will be met harshly.

“TPLF will take legal action against any attempt trying to disrupt the unity of the Tigrayan people and peace in the regional state,” the resolution said

The party also has given full mandate to its central committee to follow and supervise the complete implementation of the resolutions passed in the extraordinary conference.

Speaking on the occasion, the chair of the party, Debertsion Gebermichael, described the decision by the central government to disband the EPRDF as “undemocratic” and in ”violation” of the principles of EPRDF and the law of the country.

TPLF has also decided to establish a strategic alliance with 'federalist forces' in the form of a forum, coalition or a front for a common goal. According to some reports, the TPLF has been looking for potential partners to form some sort of alliance of federalist forces to challenge the Prosperity Party and other national parties. Recently the organization held a second national consultative forum under the theme "Rescuing the Constitution and Federal System," December 3-4, 2019, in Mekele city. However, given its tarnished name in the rest of Ethiopia, it is unclear if the TPLF will manage to build a credible alliance worthy of any power in Ethiopia.

“The government and political party as well as the government and religion are mixed up creating serious problems in the country. In short, after the last meeting of EPRDF, the country has reached the verge of crumbling,” Deberetsion had said in an earlier speech.

Throughout the nearly 30-year rule of the EPRDF, Ethiopia never saw the separation of party from state. The two have been one and the same, earning the government the name "authoritarian" by world bodies. The absence of checks and balances between the executive, judiciary and the military sent thousands of people into exile and/or prison, and ultimately resulted in the demise of the EPRDF.

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