The EPRDFites, or whatever is left of them...

Jan 26 , 2019

The EPRDFites, or whatever is left of them, had their regular meeting of the Executive Committee a week ago, where its leaders discussed a 70-page report tabled by their chairman, Abiy Ahmed (PhD), gossip disclosed. The report has a realistic assessment of the state of affairs in the republic, if not a grim take on the inter-party relationship between two senior members of the ruling coalition, claims gossip.

Mainly troubled by the ongoing recriminations between the leaders and mutual mistrust between the TPLF and the ADP - due primarily to disputes over administrative demarcations - the EPRDFites have said they have failed to achieve unity of purpose and action, gossip says. It is a long overdue admission to come from an organisation with a culture of complacency, claims gossip.

But the EPRDFites have also taken note of the security challenges recurrent in several parts of the country, where “anti-reform elements within and outside the administration” were blamed for undermining the reform efforts, according to gossip.

No less were issues of concern on the economic slowdown and deteriorating level of public service provisions that is a source of anxiety to the EPRDFites, gossip noted. Again, they were not short of groups to blame for what their leader believes is causing no more than hiccups, says gossip. Improvident political forces unable to see the type and scope of the reforms, as well as the lily-livered bureaucrats, have received their share of the onus for reforms that are not going as remarkably as was initially thought, according to gossip.

Gossip claims that it was ironically the TPLFites which were the forces in the EPRDF who demonstrated coherence and a sense of direction during the executive committee meeting. They have urged to refocus on the resolutions the ruling party had made during its meeting back in December 2017 and wanted to chart out a course and position for the EPRDF in the national elections in 2020, says gossip.

The chairman of the ruling party does not seem to have made up his mind whether to let the national elections conducted on schedule, says gossip. No less ambiguous was he on the issue during the executive committee meeting last week. However, he will face powerful political forces within and outside of his ruling coalition that is adamant to see the elections carried out on time, including the TPLF and the OLF. And there are no constitutional instruments that allow him or parliament to postpone the national polls that need to be conducted “every five years”.

Although the political stability in the country will determine whether or not the national elections happen in one and half years, Abiy appears to be little concerned if he will carry victory to the EPRDFites, gossip disclosed. He had seemed to be bullish before the executive committee meeting about the prospect of EPRDF’s landslide victory, revealed gossip.

His views of the opposition camp - whether it is those who returned from exile or those who were put up inside the country - is one highly fragmented and occupied by mutual squabbles to pose any threat to the incumbent, according to gossip. He tried to impress upon his follow EPRDFites that the leaders of the various political opposition groups despise each other much more than their issues with the ruling party, hence little worry about their capacity to challenge the ruling party on the electoral front, says gossip.

Interestingly, his own ruling coalition is more divided and polarised than any other time since its formation in the late 1980s, claims gossip. Abiy’s ability to restore unity within the EPRDF and perhaps persuade its coalition members to dissolve their independent existence to form a unified EPRDF will herald a new beginning for his long political career in evolving as a statesman who succeeded in redrawing Ethiopia’s political landscape, gossip foresees.

PUBLISHED ON Jan 26,2019 [ VOL 19 , NO 978]

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