Grow Up, EPRDF!

Jul 6 , 2019
By Hintsa Andebrhan

I have written many articles in this newspaper criticising the undemocratic ethnic federalism of EPRDF. I have argued that its ideology corrupted our Ethiopian identity and the dignity that we were born with. Now, I am afraid we are starting to face new but dangerous challenges. There seem to be invisible political operators manipulating the unclear policy of this new EPRDF.

We all knew that its culture of democratic centralism governed the old EPRDF's behaviour. That meant that since the party tightly controlled its executives, it was not easy for someone to be appointed to a position of importance without showing ultimate loyalty to the party.

But the recent changes in the party with the tendency to seek popularity seems to have made it much easier for people to get appointed to administrative and political positions of importance. It is this kind of loose political structure that is getting the country into the current sociopolitical and socioeconomic crisis.

The political leadership is missing the interconnection between politics and economic policy and the effect it is having on the population. The coalition is too focused on its internal political dynamics and power. That is the cause of the mess we are witnessing in the EPRDF camp.

Even though EPRDF has never been popular with the Ethiopian people, we did not hesitate to give our support to the new party chairman and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and his administration. That was because this charismatic figure had great appeal to the nation, since he offered hope to citizens under a united Ethiopia. That is why the people trusted every word he spoke.

But currently, people seem to be having doubts because things are going in a different direction than expected. Prime Minster Abiy is trying hard to stand on his "Medemer" philosophy that focuses on a strong unity, which is predicated on Ethiopian identity. He does not want to lose the acceptance he has recived from the Ethiopian people. Unfortunately, it seems like elites in his own party have hijacked his political program. That is the reason for the emergence of a gap between his "Medemer" philosophic motto and the people.

The recent sad events are the result of the elites in the party abandoning the ‘Medemer’ philosophy and instead playing the old political game. This country, which was once victimised by the undemocratic ethnic federalism of EPRDF-I, is now in fear of being cheated again by EPRDF-II.

My beloved Ethiopian nation believed the reform had allowed us to live in peace in a country where our rights are protected. We did not think that the fantasy of some political elites will exploit our dreams.

The people are not worrying about who is in the National Palace. What the people are worried about is whether or not the country is in safe hands. The question is whether or not the people that are put in positions of power are fit enough for their positions. The question is whether they are loyal to serve this country and its people. Or are they playing EPRDF's usual old power game?

If the coalition party is still playing the old political games, trying to please its political elites, it is abandoning us on a boat in the middle of the ocean without a captain or a compass. It is time that we start screaming to save our country, and the government must give us its ear to listen and stop its political madness. It is hard to believe that EPRDF had a deep understanding of ethnic federalism for the past twenty-seven years. If it did, we would not be in the current mess that is choking us to death.

The country buried its heroes last week because of this blind ambition for political power and childish political formulations. Ethiopians are crying and worrying to death. Hillary Rodham Clinton, in her book Living History, told us that she learned that more than one opinion with different perspectives could live in peace under the same roof when she was only twelve years old. If a young girl could have that much understanding about agreeing to disagree, then why are EPRDF and its elites still playing childish politics?

If EPRDF is not brave enough to lead us and this country democratically and peacefully, we are not ready to be weapons for its invisible political games. That is why we are asking the coalition to grow up.

PUBLISHED ON Jul 06,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1001]

Hintsa Andebrhan ( worked as a researcher with the United Nations Population Fund and IPAS International Ethiopia. Interested in history and politics, his work was on social affairs.

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