The EPRDF Executive Committee...

Aug 10 , 2019

There is something eerie about the meeting that started late last week by members of the EPRDF Executive Committee. Not only was it the first to be held since the multiple political assassinations here in Addis Abeba and Bahir Dar, unprecedented in the way that high ranking political and military leaders got killed by the very people who were entrusted with their security. Some of the leaders of the parties in the coalition had to face each other after they had exchanged public recriminations in the aftermath.

Debretsion Gebremichael (PhD), chairman of the TPLF, was not in attendance, at least on the opening day, while the majority of his comrades in the TPLF political bureau were there, as attentively as perhaps they had never followed the EPRDF’s proceedings before. Crammed into a smaller meeting room inside the Prime Minister’s Office on Lorenzo Te`azaz Road, they had to endure the presence of Demeke Mekonnen, deputy chairman of the EPRDF, who they have come to abhor lately. He leads a party, the ADP, that minced no words in response to their demand for public apologies.

However, the temper tantrum between leaders of the oldest parties in the governing coalition was not on the agenda. It appears that both sides remain patient, waiting to strike when the time seems right. That may come in the next two days when the Executive Committee resumes after the brief break over the weekend, gossip disclosed.

Two documents prepared by the EPRDF Secretariat, under the supervision of its chairman, Abiy Ahmed (PhD), were presented for discussion, gossip reveals. The first document reports on the state of affairs in the ruling party, in particular, and the country in broader terms. On both counts, the picture portrayed is grim, if not alarming, reveals gossip.

The sense of urgency and the potential for risk, extensively elaborated in the report, was echoed in a rather firm tone by Lemma Megersa, a once strong ally of Abiy, but reportedly has distanced himself lately, claims gossip. Lemma, now serving as minister of Defense, appears to be frustrated with the lack of coherence in the leadership of the EPRDF to the point that it is difficult to claim the ruling party functions beyond appearances, according to gossip. Its leadership is divided, and factionalism is rampant, weakening the Front’s ability to govern the country as it should have, claims gossip. He was vocal in sounding the alarm to the extent the country faces risks, gossip claims.

There seems to be a broader consensus among many of the Executive Committee members over the danger their Front and the country may find themselves in, according to gossip. None among them tried to argue otherwise, says gossip. Where there exists sharp divergence is over the causes of current crises and the prescription they should take for the remedy, disclosed gossip.

The TPLFites are adamant in blaming it on the betrayal of Revolutionary Democracy as a guiding ideology and the Developmental State as the state’s policy, according to gossip. Most other leaders in the coalition, particularly from the ADP and ODP, have had enough doses of Leninist mantras, although they may want to toy with the developmental state growth model, claims gossip.

The TPLFites see the way forward in the reaffirmation of the ideological status quo, exposing how intellectually barren they have become in reinventing their party and the coalition Front, gossip claims. They may have little to be pleased about with the second document either, as they debate about it in the coming days, says gossip.

The document sees salvation for the party and the country in the merger of the EPRDF as a united party, reveals gossip. For the first time in its 30-year existence, the EPRDF will have its top leadership discuss on a paper authored to persuade the indispensability of union in the face of degeneration and political ebb, gossip says.

In a way, this week’s meeting by the EPRDF is a precursor to the things that are yet to unfold, gossip foresees.

PUBLISHED ON Aug 10,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1006]

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