Commentary- Path forward for TPLF and the Tigrai People
By M. Gettaw,
Tigrai Online, Sept. 20, 2018
TPLF should consider primary elections for its members that would like to be elected to state or federal parliament
- Primary elections- I think TPLF should consider primary elections for its members that would like to be elected to state or federal parliament. This is commonly practiced in the west and is an effective tool to vet candidates. This allows citizens of each locality to vet their representatives and at the same time the representatives would feel legitimate. It would make the elected officials to be more responsive to demands from their electorate than their bosses. One of the problems with the current election system is the fact that the people in Woredas don’t have a say on who should compete for office. It is imposed on them from somewhere above and this should be rectified as quickly as possible if TPLF is to stay strong and be capable of solving problems at the community level.
- Abo Adi or Elders- At this juncture, Tigray needs ‘Abo Aditat’ who could help in negotiations as well as community to community relationships. Like the Aba Gedas of Oromo who are playing a big role in bridging the gap between the Oromo people and Oromo political groups, we need Abo Aditat who can play similar roles. My suggestion is that these need to be elected at each community level (at most three from each Woreda with some defined term) and they have to be articulate in Tigrigna and at least one more language (Amharic, Oromiffa, English) in order to represent their community at the national level. A good example for this is the Aba Geda from Oromia who has become a fixture on TV in all OPDO and Oromia related meetings. Note: this includes ‘Ado Aditat’ like the ‘wu-wu-wa’ lady who we watched on TV in one of the recent meeting to commemorate the 6th anniversary of the death of Meles (RIP!).
- Sustained principled resistance: TPLF and the people of Tigray should continue their sustained principled resistance to any injustices committed around the country especially injustices against minorities like those that happened in Burayu recently. The demonstrations, conferences that include other Ethiopians, blogs, and activism by individuals and media broadcasts in Amharic should continue as they have been fruitful in voicing the firm and collective stand of the Tigray people. Good examples of these are the principled stand and approach taken on the Ethio-Eritrean reconciliation to make it people to people based (especially the effort by people in the borders who pushed for people to people relationship), the demonstrations made for the respect of the constitution and call for the apprehension of the perpetrators of the acts of violence on June 16th and the killing of engineer Simegnew. These have once again demonstrated the resolve and principled nature of the Tigray people to friends and foes. These types of principled resistance should continue.
- Bring new capable leaders and faces to the front- TPLF should be able to bring to the front young leaders who are prepared in terms of good communication skills (if possible those who can communicate in at least two local and one international language) in addition to the many attributes of leadership. We know how much leaders in the west spend for coaching for every major speech that they make. Even Obama who is a natural orator was spending time to be coached by communication experts. So, there is no shame in that. A good example is the recent speech by Dr. Tekeste in the opening of the OPDO congress which was great in content and delivery. Kudo to Dr. Tekeste!