This is it!

By Dilwenberu Nega
Nov. 02 2009

For 18 long years, we had allowed an evil, in the form of hate politics, to stymie our efforts at building a veritable democracy in Ethiopia where poverty would be consigned to bed-time story books for our children and our children’s children. The politics of hate had such a firm grip on the Ethiopian society like no other factor, raising the spectre of apprehension come every National Elections. Those of us, classed as Ethiopian expatriates by our respective host nations in Europe, America, Africa and Australia had tried everything to get rid of this deadly evil. We failed, and failed disastrously as we continually found ourselves getting immersed in a prolonged binge of attrition as we fought amongst ourselves, stamped on each other and railed against each other. Evil, like shadow was following us everywhere until our political leaders in Addis made a historic decision to shine light on evil, thereby rendering evil completely powerless.

You do not have to be devoutly religious, then, to appreciate the wisdom in the scripture: “there is time for everything: time to quarrel and time to make peace...” Eureka! The time to make peace – the time to say good-bye to the politics of hate, and the time to welcome the politics of tolerance had finally made its appearance felt in the splendour of Sheraton Addis’ Lalibela Ballroom as the ‘The Quartet of Cool Heads of Ethiopian politics’ placed their signatures on Ethiopia’s Code of Conduct Agreement for Election 2010. Happiness shared is happiness doubled was what this event reflected to all Ethiopians.

This is by no means a small feat, given the trial and tribulation which the signatories had to go through during their marathon deliberations. The signing of the Code of Conduct constitutes only the starter in the a la carte menu offered to EPDRF, EDP, AEUP and CUD. Let us, therefore, keep our hope alive by praying that its main course and dessert would be as nourishing as the starter. But politics being what it is, we must not lose sight of the fact that though this breakthrough is, indeed, a landmark decision by the political quartet to stick to nothing but the constitutional transfer of power at National Elections, there will be those who would go ballistic as they see their plan for a repeat performance of a takeover binge at the next National Elections blow into smithereens. Complacency must be avoided at all cost.

It is, of course, a source of sadness to see that Medrek has opted to stay out of the muti-party talks on code of conduct for the 2010 Elections. The talk of the town has it that Medrek is gold in the morning, silver in the afternoon and lead in the evening. Therefore, it is vitally important for the ruling EPDRF, CUD, AEUP and EDP not to be seen wasting valuable time trying to woo Medrek to the talks. The writing must be on the wall for Medrek: join in or try to clap with one hand.

While this breakthrough has brought great jubilation to a great majority of peace-loving Ethiopians prompting them to sing along that melodious “We did it our way,” the anti-democratic forces are to be found at a wake. No surprise here, as what is a good tiding for a democrat, is a bad omen for a soldier-less Commander. Our commiseration goes out to pie-in-the-sky Geemboat 7.

May veritable democracy flourish evermore in Ethiopia!