Justification of the Ethiopian 2010 national election
By Fanowedy Samara
June 10 2010
The Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples waged a lifetime struggle to ensure their fundamental democratic and political rights. They paid incredible sacrifices in order to defeat arbitrary rule. They were forced to pay these sacrifices for they did not have other chance to secure their lifelong questions of equality, equity, sovereignty and fraternity.
They were also forced to wage precious lives of their children for they did not have any peaceful option to end the overloaded yokes of exploitation and oppression. Bitter struggle was the only means to safeguard their sovereignty, to ensure the rule of law, their rights to life, liberty, equality, privacy, thought, opinion and expression, assembly, demonstration and petition, access to justice, property, labor, development, and the right to vote and to be elected.
Moreover, they struggled against these forces to safeguard their basic freedoms of religion, belief and opinion, association, movement etc.
After long and unreserved times of bitter struggle, the Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples realized their extended dreams of peace and order. Their fundamental rights and freedoms have also been constitutionally ensured. Hence, Ethiopia has become a nation where the rule of law and the sovereign power of the peoples are prevailing, citizen are equally treated before the law without any discrimination on the grounds of race, nation, nationality, or other social origin, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, property, birth or other status.
The FDRE constitution has become the common treaty of the Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples to live in a mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence to put their shared vision in place-to realize democratic Ethiopia and emancipating the nation from abject poverty.
The constitution also closes any possible form of arbitrary rule for the supreme political power resides in the hands of the Ethiopian peoples. Thus, Ethiopians have constitutional right to recall an elected representative in case of loss of confidence. The FDRE constitution established National Election Board of Ethiopia to implement this basic constitutional right of citizens. The 2010 Ethiopian National Election manifests the practicality of the constitutional right of citizens-right to vote and to be elected.
The result of the 2010 Ethiopian National Election may induce a number of arguments. One might ask why the opposition parties get defeated, and others might still ask the real essence of the voice of citizens, even others might ask both etc?
The author of this article observes the 2010 election from two important perspectives, one form the publics’ point of view and another from the political parties’ point of view. In the 2010 National Election, both the general public and the political parties set their own goals. Similarly, they strived to realize their own respected goals and objectives to brighten their future. Moreover, they had established their own strategies and tactics in order to make their noble objectives real.
However, the basic perspectives of the general public and that of the political parties differ from each other though there might not be fundamental difference in end objective. Of course, both the public and the political parties are supposed to fight against arbitrary rule, lawlessness, chaos, disorder, anti democratic elements etc in order to ensure lasting peace, democracy, good governance, development and then eradicate poverty. Moreover, they are expected to work together to realize the shared values and common visions of the Ethiopian nations, nationalities and Peoples.
In practice, however, the demands of the general public and the practical deeds of most political parties get divorced. Furthermore, most of the opposition political parties did not have feasible assessment on the real needs of the public. On the contrary, the public critically evaluated the day-to-day activities of all political parties. The media remarkably equipped Ethiopians with adequate and up-to-date information about the political stands and objectives of all political parties.
The public strongly demands the proper implementation of the constitutional rights and freedoms of Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples. Ethiopians never bring these rights and freedom in to the political market at the expense of untested and unrealistic propaganda campaign of certain political parties. Moreover, they do never tolerate certain forces that intentionally violate these esteemed rights and freedoms citizens at all. Hence, one might easily understand that the two major contestants in the 2010 Ethiopian National Election were Constitutionalism and anti constitutionalism, not EPRDF and opposition political parties or political parties in general and the public. And finally, the winner is the Ethiopian constitutionalism and the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia, not EPRDF or the opposition political parties.
The two extreme camps in this National Election were the rule of law and the fundamental pillars of the FDRE constitution on the one side and arbitrary rule and anti FDRE constitution on the other side. The Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples were the professional and responsible judges during this National Election. They voted for constitutionalism to enhance and consolidate their fundamental rights and freedoms. They also voted constitutionalism to realize their common vision, to see Ethiopia becomes a country where democratic rule, good-governance, and social justice reign through the full involvement and free will of its peoples thereby become a middle-income economy extricating itself from poverty. This seems the primary home works of Ethiopians is to ensure the Renaissance of the nation.
Almost all opposition political parties announced that they would cancel article 39 of the FDRE constitution, which ensures the equality of the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia, as soon as they take political power. This article also protected the constitutional rights of Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples to self determination including the unconditional right to secession. Furthermore, it states that every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has the right to speak, to write and to develop its own language; to express, to develop and to promote its culture; and to preserve its history. Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has the right to a full measure of self-government which includes the right to establish institutions of government in the territory that it inhabits and to equitable representation in state and Federal governments as per the article.
Thus, all the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia anonymously stood against the ideas of the political parties that demand abandonment of this article from FDRE constitution. Hence, opposition political parties defeated in the 2010 national election because they heralded a strong sense of inequality among the Ethiopian nations, nationalities and peoples. In addition, they have been defeated for they declared proxy wars against the neighboring sovereign states under the pretext of Sea Ports.
Almost all opposition political parties also stated that they would let land to be sold or exchanged as soon as they take political power. However, the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia practically knew what would happen immediately after land is privatized. In short, privatization of land for Ethiopia is equally meaning the resurrection of ‘feudalism’ in the nation. When land is privatized, it will inevitably be accumulated in the hands of few well-to-dos while the majority of citizens remain landless.
Whenever land becomes a private property of individuals, citizens will eventually be displaced from their lands for it belongs to individuals or groups of individuals. Displacement of peoples from their lands would definitely aggravate both psychological and economical dependence of citizens.
Thus, the Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples voted for their common right of land ownership. They defended the constitutional principle stated that the right to ownership of rural and urban land, as well as of all natural resources, is exclusively vested in the State and in the peoples of Ethiopia. Similarly, they voted for the constitutional rule that stipulated as ‘land is a common property of the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia and shall not be subject to sale or to other means of exchange.’
By and large, the main contestants in the 2010 Ethiopian National Election are the rule of law and arbitrary rule in which the rule of law got a landslide victory. The proper vote of Ethiopians is also for the fundamental rights and freedoms of Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and peoples. They, they voted for their constitutional rights in order to enhance the ongoing development endeavors of the nation and thereby consolidate its Renaissance. Moreover, they voted for equality, sovereignty, fraternity and mutual understanding of the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia in order to ensure the necessity of creating economic and political unity among themselves.