For many years, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) had been craving for forming a national party. Over the last weekend, EPRDF, the ruling coalition approved merger by majority vote of the executive committee.
Most recently various views have been entertained on local media outlets regarding the converting of the incumbent coalition into a single unified party. Many have been also wondering about what the future holds for Ethiopians, if the merger becomes a reality.
Toppling down the Derg regime in 1991 by armed force, EPRDF has been assuming state power with the ratification of new constitution and carrying out five general elections. But, for over two-and-half decades, it has remained to be the front of four ethnic- based political organizations namely Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), Southern Ethiopian Peoples’ Democratic Movement (SEPDM) and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
For sure, the merger respects and recognizes every Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ national identity apart from consolidating multinational federalism. As history tells us, EPRDF was founded to address the call for diversity at the verge of the Derg collapse, but its allied parties had been denied their inalienable right to assume state power or to take part in the country’s major policy decision making activities in a democratic manner.
It is true that the forming of a national party will make allied parties to own equal memberships as they will have a say in each and every political and economic affairs of the country. There is no doubt that the merger will contribute a lot in creating several united national parties in the near future. This is because such move magnifies unity than division. It is also found to be the best way to own a united country.
Yes, EPRDF passed the landmark decision of becoming a united national party after carrying out studies and holding extensive discussions on how to be a unified national party.
Of course, the document that talks about the significance of merger of EPRDF has given a special emphasis on strengthening the federal system and the right of Ethiopian nations, nationalities and peoples to self-administration. Plus, it stressed the need to nurture diversity in language, nationalities and national identity as the unified national party evolves.
Since the 6th General Election is approaching, the transforming of EPRDF to a national party will pave the way for any fellow citizen who is capable of leading the country will make him/her to join the party and serve this great nation in each position including the Office of the Prime Minister.
In all, the merger of the EPRDF is the right decision at the right time as it would bring all corners of Ethiopia to the central power play and it as well will have a long-term implication on the creation of democratic culture.
The Ethiopian Herald, November 19/2019