Welcome to Tigrai Online,      Daily News that matters

UDJ: Striving to Punch above its Weight

By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online, October 08, 2013

UDJ: Striving to Punch above its Weight
Last Sunday’s demonstration in Addis Ababa, which consumed three months of intense ground work, was a complete and utter failure.

Last Sunday’s demonstration in Addis Ababa, which consumed three months of intense ground work, was a complete and utter failure.  Thirty-three fringe opposition parties and Unity for Democracy & Justice (UDJ) organised the rally, and only a few thousands turned up according to the accounts of Reporters without Borders. ‘’Millions March for Freedom’’ that was highly publicised at home and in the Diaspora was simply pie in the sky.

The fiasco has badly hurt UDJ and it is just a matter of time before terminal recriminations commence within the leadership. To divert attention and buy time , Ato Girma Seifu, who is UDJ’s sole parliamentary representative , has written to the Prime Minister indicting plain cloth security personnel’s of momentarily detaining a couple of their members for questioning.

All the Honourable member of House of Representatives had to do was visit the relevant authorities and request an immediate probe into the alleged incident and leave the hectic PM to plot the demise of poverty which is the arch enemy our country. No doubt Ato Girma is aware of this rudimentary etiquette but deliberately opted to disregard it in order to deflect focus away from Sunday’s humiliation.

The low turn-out in Addis Ababa, Amhara and Southern regions thoroughly indicate that UDJ is a peripheral player in Ethiopian politics although this has not dissuaded leaders of the minuscule party from trying to punch above their weight. UDJ and the other 33 marginal parties call for the repeal of the Anti-terrorism Law and release of political prisoners, as if there were, every time they held public rallies. The vast majority of the electorates are unaware of their policies and strategies; we have yet to hear of a proposal that they reckon would mitigate the complex and multifaceted problems of the country.

It is hardly surprising that the combined support for the entire opposition at home and in the Diaspora is so inconsequential despite their involvement in politics for the last two decades. By and large, political parties the world over win elections on the strengths of their manifestos and not by exclusively highlighting the perceived weaknesses of the party in power. This is exactly what is taking place in Ethiopia and its predictable outcome is a Perpetual opposition which unlikely to alter in the immediate future.

Lack of policy is not the only aspect that is preventing the opposition from getting through to the electorates. Persistent infighting, bickering and double dealing that takes place on daily basis is also having an adverse effect. Recently, Semayawi Party was expelled from the consortium of 33 parties for publically undermining the other members of the group. UDJ which is a member of Medrek is also at logger heads with its partners and it is just a matter of time before they part company. On numerous occasions, Professor Beyene Petros and Dr Merara Gudina censured leaders of UDJ for not towing the alliance’s line.

Even within UDJ there appears to be a schism between Dr Negasso and Ato Girma. The latter’s letter that was addressed to FDRE Prime Minister should have been written by the leader of the party which is the correct protocol but it was not. Why? Lately, the only opposition MP has become very vocal and many people believe that he is conspiring against Dr Negasso in order to assume control of UDJ. Seye Abraha received similar treatments from the die-hard chauvinists and is now believed to be working for the UN. It is simply tripe for UDJ to claim that it is above ethnic politics when it is actually immersed in it up to its neck.

At present UDJ is in a very precarious situation and it is feared that this may tempt the party to collude with the terrorist organisation G-7 as Eskinder Nega, Andualem Arage and a few others did. The lack of strong and visionary opposition since the advent of democracy in Ethiopia is a very serious concern. Equally worrying is the EPRDF might become complacent and arrogant in the absence of stern challenges from its rivals, and fail to continue to perform to the highest standards that the public are accustomed to. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, the Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP), would rise to the occasion and give the EPRDF a run for its money.

Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links

More Articles

Dr. Mulatu Teshome elected as the new president of Ethiopia

American elite Special Force commandos twin operation in Somalia and Libya

Eritrea: the African North Korea which thousands will risk anything to escape

First Power Africa Transaction Moves Forward with Landmark Agreement between Ethiopian Government and Reykjavik Geothermal

70 Eritreans among them 20 children rescued 13 drowned off of Sicily

Some facts about Ethiopia’s Nile Dam and unsound downstream concerns [reply to National Geographic megazine]

Birhanu and Andargatchew: the enemy of my enemy is not my friend

ADA-UK urges members to support development endeavours

Reykjavik Geothermal to Build 1,000 Megawatt power plants in Ethiopia

Isaias Afeworki feels nauseous about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Ethiopia-Eritrea peace: The ball is in President Isaias Afeworki's court

Ethiopian Wins another Award, African Business of the Year

Medrek says Ethiopia should pull out of Somalia for fear of Al-Shabab

Al-Shabab terrorists attacked a mall in Nairobi

Underground newspaper was circulated on the streets of Asmara yesterday

Iceland to help Ethiopia develop its geothermal capacity

Ethiopians in Vancouver, Canada raised over 106 thaousand dollars for GERD

Conquering Famine in Ethiopia

Wondemu Mekonen: getting a taste of his own medicine.

Ginbot 7's and ESAT's unabashed adoration of President Isaias Afeworki

Abba Yohani Monastery in Tembein, Tigrai northern Ethiopia

Ethiopia achieved the millennium development goal to cut the mortality rate for children

Ethiopian Chosen by Passengers as Best Airline in Africa

Reflections on the Ethiopian Anti-Terrorism Law Debate between the EPRDF and the Ethiopian Opposition Parties

Convicted terrorist Eskinder Nega calls for sanctions against Ethiopia

A year after Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia remains on track

REST-Health Grabs the Eye of Milinda Gates and the US Senior Officials

Girma Seifu Maru: are you kidding, or is MEDREK limping?

Impacts of Grand Renaissance Dam on Economic Development in Ethiopia

Impacts of Grand Renaissance Dam on Economic Development in Ethiopia

Millions of Ethiopians staged a rally to say no to religious extremism

Ethiopian Airlines has made a record profit