Ethiopian opposition parties are setting themselves up for failure again
By Biru Aregaw
Tigrai Online December 9, 2014
Since the EPRDF defeated the Derge military regime and came to power about two decades ago, Ethiopia has been experimenting with democratic elections. There have been two elections and a third one is coming soon.
Ethiopia never had an election or elected government in it’s entire history before EPRDF. For thousands of years Ethiopia was ruled by absolute monarchs. During the Derge military government any sign of opposition was extinguished quickly by killing the members.
When EPRDF came to power the Ethiopian people have absolutely no idea what to do with their newly found little freedom. The opposition leaders at the time organized themselves on temporary sensational topics like the Eritrean issue, ports, flag and ethnic issues. Even the EPRDF government wasn’t clear on some issues. You would think after twenty years there would be viable and strong opposition party. An opposition party based on democratic principles and clear strategic national policy; unfortunately you would be wrong there is none.
Ethiopia is not blessed in that aspect, so the Ethiopian opposition is marching in the same spot where it was in 1991. They are blind and they don’t have a clue what they are doing. They didn’t even know the basics like organizing the grass roots and how to spread their messages. Every election time the opposition is trying to use some dirty shortcut to get to power without convincing the people.
Does the Ethiopian Opposition have a national message? If there is one, what is it? Does the Ethiopian population know what they are fighting for? These fundamental questions need answers before any rally or demonstration.
The tragic reality is the Ethiopian opposition don’t have a national agenda. They oppose the EPRDF for sake of opposing. The Ethiopian opposition main policy is based on reaction to the ruling party. They don’t have their own policy for the main Ethiopian issues. Day in day out they are telling us what EPRDF did wrong or doing wrong. Oh, we are not blind we can see what is wrong your job is to bring us another choice and a better choice. Their opposition is not for the benefit of the Ethiopian people and for the benefit of the Ethiopian national interest. It seems most of them are dwelling on trivial issues that appeal to a narrow band of the society. Some of the opposition is made up of power hungry derge and Janhoy riffraff. Some are sabotaging themselves by associating with people and countries like Eritrea and Egypt who are hell-bent on destroying our country.
On top of all the above they don’t have the desire and the skills to win elections legally. Last week we saw a failed demonstration in Addis Ababa organized by a collection of opposition groups. A few hundred people came out to the main square and they were met by security forces because the government said they didn’t have permission to demonstrate. First of all why did they go out without having the necessary permit for the rally? Second what where they demonstrating about?
The timing of the demonstration was not an coincident, it was done by design by the opposition leaders. The thought behind it is to bring a confrontation between the security forces and demonstrators hoping something tragic will happen and the international media will pick it up. In the eyes of the leaders of the Ethiopian opposition parties they were trying to discredit the EPRDF government in the eve of the election. Big mistake, while they were trying to get the attention of the international media, they lost the Ethiopian people.
The Ethiopian people don’t want to see bloodshed and unrest. They can see what is happening in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine. In the above countries sellout opposition leaders financed by greedy global monopolies ignited “revolutions” which cost these countries dearly. The global monopolies are not interested in justice and democracy for the people. They can care less for the well being of the people. They are after one thing and one thing only, to suck these countries resources dry and they will do whatever it takes to achieve their goal. At the end of these so called revolutions millions of people lost their lives. Majority of these countries are reduced to failed states without functioning government.
In Ethiopia those global powers with the help of domestic blood suckers had tried many times, but they were not successful to turn the people against each other yet. Ethiopia is relatively peaceful and achieving remarkable economic progress. The EPRDF ruling party is taking advantage of their success and gearing up to win yet another election. Does that mean there is nothing wrong with EPRDF and it’s policies? Absolutely not, there are many things that need to be addressed, but the twisted opposition are not paying attention to those issues instead they are in the business of fabricating things or plotting to overthrow the government illegally.
The Ethiopian people don’t want to risk disintegration of the country by taking chances with opposition parties that are lost and don’t have clear path.
There should be a better organized opposition party that opposes the policy failures of EPRDF and comes up with a practical alternative to the ruling party in Ethiopia. A true opposition party builds on the positive and successes of the ruling party. Any party with the foundation of falsehood, negativity and who tries to get to the helm of power by deceiving the masses will be rejected by the people every time.
Elections are not won by illegal rallies, demonstrations and confrontation with the state. Elections are won by having clear alternative policies, by complimenting any success and exposing the weakness, by having better organization and by spreading your message to the greater public.