Friday, November 22, 2019

Ruling Coalition Council Approved the Merger to Form “Prosperity Party”
Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) council approved executive committee decision to merge three parties to form Prosperity Party. Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is not part of it

November 21, 2019

Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) council approved on Thursday the merger of three ethnic-based parties to form a single one.

The decision was previously approved by the executive committee of the coalition in a meeting called last Saturday. Six members of the executive committee and they are from Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), voted against the merger saying that the executive committee should first discuss the outcome of the research conducted to determine the merger.

The executive committee that voted in favor of the merger passed the decision to the ruling party’s council, has 180 members drawn from member parties that constitute the coalition, for approval, and it is approved.

Seemingly excited about it, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted about it soon after the completion of the council’s meeting:

“The unanimous decision passed today to merge the Party is a crucial step in harnessing our energy to work toward a shared vision. Prosperity Party is committed to strengthening & applying a true Federal system that recognizes the diversity and contributions of all Ethiopians.”

Technically, the claim “unanimous decision passed” sounds unsound given the reality that TPLF did not take part in the meeting which means 45 members the ruling coalition did not attend the meeting on Thursday.

On Wednesday, TPLF wrote an urgent letter to the ruling coalition saying that it will not take part in the meeting on the grounds that it has to discuss the matter at different levels of its organizational structure, and that it will call an organizational congress to determine the fate of TPLF. It also opposed, vehemently, that neither the executive committee nor the council of the party does not have the legal and political right to pass a decision on the merger issue.

It means that TPLF, a party that used to be a dominant power in the ruling coalition until early 2018, is not a member of the merged party that is to be rebranded as Prosperity Party.

Fekadu Tessema, the executive committee member of EPRDF who usually appears on state-owned and affiliated media outlets, said the council examined the details of the merger of the parties and has approved the merger unanimously.

He also mentioned that the result of the study supports the decision since the ruling coalition, in the shape and form to be phased out, incapable of ensuring continuity of what it called “change” and to ensure multifaceted prosperity.

The council has also discussed and approved the new party’s political program which outlines political, economic, and social and foreign policy issues. It means that the new party is throwing to the dustbin of history revolutionary Democracy ideology and policies.

The meeting is not yet concluded, and the party will discuss on Friday code of conduct and bylaws of the new party.

There is anticipation that the new party is unlikely to be from the influence of ethnic politics. Most Ethiopians seem to be indifferent towards the new political development.

Since the new party, Prosperity Party, avoided the word Ethiopia, seemingly to please support base in areas where there is radical ethnic nationalism and antagonism towards anything Ethiopia, many have found it difficult to support it.

Ethiopia will have a national election in 2020 and the ruling party has decided that it will not be postponed.

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