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Rumors on Next EPRDF Congress in Mekelle: Convention for Alliancing or Splitting?

Rumors on Next EPRDF Congress in Mekelle: Convention for Alliancing or Splitting?

By Yosief Abraham Z

Rumors from Addis Ababa and Mekelle affirm of Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) preparation to held massive campaigns in four capitals of the alliance parties. Accordingly, the Oromo Peoples' Democratic Organization (OPDO), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), the Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement (SEPDM) and the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front, will held preparatory campaigns in their own respective regions, a path for the critical congress that expect to be held in Mekelle.

Tom Gardner told the African Report that The EPRDF now finds itself at perhaps the most critical juncture in its 30-year history. Relations between the TPLF and its sister parties – the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) and Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement – have never been more fractious than the current status.

With critical junctures on unexpected reverse of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) from a mercenary into possible opposition party, EPRDF has affirmed challenges on how to grip its power. “Replacing the ineffective Hailemariam Desalegn by another Oromo premier is both hallucinatory and probably measurement to act tactically by the EPRDF. But this is a starting way for endless political debacles,” advocate some supporters of the TPLF’s dominance in EPRDF.

“The EPRDF cannot control the country without the OPDO,” told Shimelis Abdissa to the African Report. This regional minister of urban development and a young member of the new OPDO leadership add, “Without the Oromo, there is no Ethiopia. We have to play a proper role.” In addition to replacing the current prime minister, the OPDO members also embolden that the make-up of the 36-member EPRDF politburo should be proportional to the size of each region’s population – rather than nine members for each party, as it is now.

In response to the kaleidoscopic political pressures and expanded acceptance of parties like OPDO, the TPLF executive committee spent two months in a marathon meeting in Mekelle late last year, engaged in what was described as a process of ‘deep renewal’, culminating in the overhaul of its own leadership in early December.

And resulted from this, the TPLF politburo overthrown the role of Azeb Mesfin, Meles’s wife, as conservative custodians of Meles’s legacy. Abay Woldu, the party chairman, was also replaced by Debretsion Gebremichael, a steely and soft-spoken technocrat. “In a candid, remarkably self-flagellating statement released by the new politburo after the meeting, Meles’s name was mentioned only once; the magic of Meles is being questioned. With that man gone, Pandora’s box was opened,” Tom Gardner reports.

With questions of fast economic growth and high inequalities between individuals and regional areas, ethnic-centered and perverted nationalism feelings, struggling between the real and imagined Ethiopia, having the second most employment seeking youth in Africa, challenges by marginalized citizens for majoritarianism political spheres, ethnocracy and oligarchy have been rampant factors that are shaping the trends of the current Ethiopia.

And if the EPRDF reached an agreement to held its decisive congress within the quarter of this year, answering the aforementioned and other core pillars of the nation would be the major aspect. To what extent the party would be victorious in addressing the issues is then going to determine the future of EPRDF at the hand of the TPLF for strong alliance or for defeating split by the coalition party members.
Yosief Abraham Z is current Executive Director of HorMid Media and Art Center. For any comments, criticisms and questions, you can contact him at

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