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Abiy’s high stake politics could trigger Yugoslavia type disintegration

By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online Jan. 17, 2020

Tigrai should not entangled itself with the messy Ethiopia
In the meanwhile, we Tigrians must maintain our unity to withstand the machination of the illegal government of Abiy Ahmed intent on disrupting our solid cohesion.

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Why oh why dose the TPLF commit the same faults ad nauseam, and never learns from its past blunders. Social media was replete with the news of Tigistu Awelu’s resignation from the Federalist Forces Forum (FFF) claiming that this political platform was created to help the TPLF regain its ‘upper-hand’ in federal politics.

By any parameters, Tigistu Awelu is a featherweight politician with no principles; and it would be hardly surprising if he was to vend his soul to the highest bidder for a fleeting lime-light. He started his political life with Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ/ Andinet), which was led by Birtukan Midekdsa. In 2015, this party fractured into various factions, and the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) intervened and made it possible for Tigistu Awelu to assume the leadership of what was left of Andinet.

In any case, it was erroneous of the TPLF to invite Tigistu Awel, an opponent multinational federalism, to be part of an important forum designed to shield the current federal system which is coming under a ferocious assault from unitarians of yesteryears. There is no need for the TPLF to rush and form alliances with parties or individuals who are solely in politics to further their own personal interests. The TPLF should take its own time and come-up with a clear vision and strategy best suited to the needs of the constituency it represents.

In this year’s general election, there will be a competition between the camps of unitarians and federalist forces, and the latter is likely to secure enough parliamentary seats needed to form the next government; provided all federalist forces come together and form a coalition. So far, the TPLF’s overt call for a joint front with Oromo nationalist parties before the election kicks-off has not had the response it deserves. To-date, the Federalist Forces Forum have had two gatherings in Mekelle but some invited parties including Oromo Liberation Front and Oromo People’s Congress didn’t to attend.

No doubt, behind the scenes discussions must have taken place, but we have now reached a stage where a resolute action, not pussy-footing, is urgently required to take on unitarians who are determined to take us back to the bad old days. All federalist forces must convene and declare their intentions to co-operate as a matter of utmost urgency. Although individual federalist parties are likely to win more seats than the unitarians, it would not be enough to form the next administration outright. And for this reason, a consortium of all proponents of multi-national federalism will have to come together to make this a reality. It is certain parliamentary seats won by Tigrian regional parties would be a decisive input in the formation of the next federalist government mandated to administer the country until 2025.  

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In the meanwhile, we Tigrians must maintain our unity to withstand the machination of the illegal government of Abiy Ahmed intent on disrupting our solid cohesion. His agenda has always been to foment a political crisis in Tigrai and bring the region under his firm control. So far, he has not succeeded, and this will remain the case so long as our togetherness is preserved. Abiy Ahmed, who has surrendered the sovereignty of the nation to the Arabs, is not only focusing on Tigrai, but outside Tigrai as well. Only a couple of days ago, Tigrians working for the municipality in the metropolis have been summarily dismissed, and soon, federal ministers including Fetelework will also be unceremoniously forced to leave. So, why is Abiy taking such draconian measures?

If the EPRDF was alive and the TPLF left this organisation, there would be no objection if political appointees were to be removed from their posts. EPRDF does not exist any longer, and the party which is firing, and hiring is new and does not have the right to dismiss large numbers of Tigrians from the municipality and federal government. It is erroneous to discharge these people for refusing to be part of Abiy’s Prosperity Party. In any case, Abiy Ahmed’s administration is illegal with no mandate to remain in power and should urgently transfer power to a transitional government until the conclusion of the next general election. From the inception, Abiy Ahmed has tried all possible permutations to dissolve the TPLF but failed miserably. On the contrary, the TPLF seems to be going from strength to strength, while Abyi’s dazzling popularity has been plummeting at an alarming rate. The latest measures taken by the dictator clearly indicate despondency and could be attributed to the TPLF’s refusal to join Prosperity Party, and for standing up against his brand of politics which is anathema to the current constitution. In any case, the federalists are on the up, and it has now dawned on the imposter Prime Minister that in a fair and transparent competition, he has no chance of winning the next election. The best Abiy can do is form an alliance with Ezema and Eskinder’s party and exist as a perpetual minority with peripheral influence.       

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has just announced that the general election is taking place in August 2020. It makes you wonder as to why August has been selected when it is obvious that the wet season stretches from June to September and during this period the state of the roads makes it difficult to transport essential logistics and election observers. Moreover, farmers would be fully engaged with their land as it is the season of heightened agricultural activities and this could possibly leave them with no time to cast their votes. Also, there are serious security issues and many parts of the country including Western Oromia, Part of Amhara, Sidama and Welayita have been placed under military rule.  

For the last two years, Abiy Ahmed has been engaged in violating the constitution with complete latitude, and the reason for announcing the election now is to placate his foreign sponsors and not out of respect to the statute. In any case, the odds are stacked against him, but because of his unhealthy compulsion for power, he may be involved in a foul play. What sort of tactics can he use to get his way?  There are several ways to rig an election and some of these could be ballot stuffing; influencing the international community and election observers to endorse a rigged election; buy votes; voter suppression; disqualifying opponents on a legal loophole; violent repression. Abiy, the traitor, firmly believes that he of great value to the Arabs and the United States and would be at liberty to use shady means to secure the election and get away with it…. with little or no international outcry.

Of course, his other option is to deepen the crisis in the country and use it as pretext to suspend the election, form a transitional government, discard the current constitution and in the end replace federalism with a Presidential system. Reliable sources have disclosed that Abiy has created a serious schism in the army between the patriots and the traitors who are on his side. Abiy may also initiate an upheaval in the metropolis and perhaps a few eliminations of high profile political or military personalities who are in his way. He may use this engineered opportunity to rule by decree until he is ready and sure to win whenever an election is announced. But these are high risk strategies certain to cause massive protests leading to the end of Ethiopia as we know it.

Tigrai should not entangled itself with the messy Ethiopian politics

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