The turn now appears between the TPLF and the ODP


January 15 , 2020


After a long internal feud, members of the ruling coalition of the EPRDF are now out in public, exchanging communiqués harshly critical of each other. It is not all that new, for their ironclad organisational culture - democratic centralism - has been dissipated. The trading of unpleasant words between the two senior members, the TPLF and the ADP, followed immediately after the twin political assassinations of the Army Chief of Staff and his friend in Addis Abeba, as well as the regional leader and senior officials of the Amhara Regional State in Bahir Dar.

The turn now appears to be between the TPLF and the ODP, getting at each others' throats over faithfulness to the federal structure and the Constitution. Late last week, the Secretariat of the EPRDF Council added itself into the fray, firing at the TPLF. Advocates of the latter decried the fact that the Secretariat had issued a communiqué without its 180 members meeting.

Finishing up its third decade, the EPRDF has entered into its most critical phase. Its Chairman, Abiy Ahmed (PhD), is determined to forge a unified party out of the coalition stitched together with a format of a Front.

He wants to change the Front's platform from the Leninist Revolutionary Democratic ideals to “homegrown” thoughts of Me`demer. He launched a book on the subject on Saturday before a crowd of thousands at the Millennium Hall. Never mind that an earlier scheduled trade fair had to be cancelled and the exhibitors were kicked out to give way to the chief priest of Me`demer, literally translated to "positive-sum."

Published under Tsehai Publishers & Distributors, the book is in Amharic and Afan Oromo, with copies reportedly reaching a million, breaking a record for the domestic publishing business. The English version is on the way, published in the United States, the home base of the publisher, gossip disclosed.

Abiy's newly unified party is far from a done deal, gossip anticipates. In two weeks, the EPRDF Executive Committee will meet to deliberate on the progress of the merger, after each party in the coalition comes with votes in favour from its political bureau and central committee.

The ADP, the strongest ally to the Chairman, has brought the ticket home, gossip disclosed. Nothing is definite concerning his home base, the ODP, which acquired the required votes despite conflicting and contradictory claims coming from its leaders, according to gossip. What is most apparent is the rejection from the elites surrounding the ODP; their position is articulated by Jawar Mohammed, an activist and a formidable challenger to the status quo, claims gossip.

Leaders of the SEPDM in the South have yet to meet at both levels. They were distracted by the elections to fill the Executive Committee, whose members the Movement suspended due to their alleged involvement in the deadly chaos that occurred this year. The TPLF has already made its position clear that it will not be a party to a process its leaders characterised as chaotic.

Whether they will attend the upcoming Executive Committee meeting in the first place or come to walk out in protest are the scenarios gossip corridors are speculating on. Nonetheless, the next meeting may register as the last of the sessions of the EPRDF, as it has been known, claims gossip.

Perhaps unpleasant and below-the-belt propaganda warfare will ensue between the disciples of Me`demer and their foes, gossip anticipates. In a bid to discredit one another, the public is up for entertainment or shock - depending on how it will be taken - from endless documentaries uncovering things that have been away from public knowledge.

It has already begun. Abiy has reprimanded “Whisky drinking EPRDFites” not to overlook the “water-drinking public” and attacked those “who live in a hotel with a 5,000 Br monthly income” as hypocrites in claiming to speak for the public.

It was likely he was referring to Getachew Reda, a political bureau member of the TPLF and the most outspoken critic of someone who once was a very close friend, lives in Addis Abeba but stays at the Planet Hotel in Meqelle while there, claims gossip. Nonetheless, Getachew is somewhat known for his love of wine, mastering the skill of naming French wine brands in the French accent, disclosed gossip.



PUBLISHED ON Jan 15,2020 [ VOL 20 , NO 1029]



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