Ethiopia’s Future Bright, But Challenging: Opposition

Addis Ababa The opposition block that has been in exile for many years are returning to Ethiopia following the sweeping reforms hoping to continue their struggle peacefully.

Tigray Democratic Coalition Party, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and All Amhara Peoples Organization are among the parties that return home following the call from PM Abiy Ahmed for peaceful struggle.

These parties believe that the future is bright due to the sweeping reform but challenging as it requires a lot of work in institutionalizing it.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, officials of the Tigray Democratic Coalition Party and OLF voiced their optimism for a wider political space.

For Aregawi Berhe, Chairperson Tigray Democratic Coalition Party, who said he was unable to form a party in the country due to the narrow political space, this is a good opportunity to pursue his wish.

So, now it looks a golden opportunity has opened for everybody. Of course we had some opportunities in the past but we did not use them..small groups would snatch power will lead everybody according to their wills and whips, and that was not helpful. But now, thanks to this change, it looks very open for every stakeholder to participate in building a state or nation where every citizen can equally benefit, he pointed out.

However, he said this is just the beginning. Concrete measures are needed and policies and decisions should also touch the ground in order to sustain the reform. I think it must be further strengthened in institutionalized way.

So far the government has opened the political space where left or right [winged] political parties could participate, but it is only the opening not concrete policies and decisions. I think the burden of the government that opened the door for change and to create the platform for the stakeholders, he said.

Aregawi, who emphasized the need to build a system that represent every citizen, said previous governments have failed to do so. This is the sticking point Ethiopia could not progress forward, he added.

This is the drawback which Ethiopia was facing, Aregawi said underlining the need to change this situation.

In the New Year, I can guess or hope that, these change promoters who are in power will create the condition where all stakeholders can participate in nation building as well as in a legitimate state building, he added.

Kejela Merdassa, member of the OLF Central Committee, who recently returned home after 27 years in exile, hopes for a better future of Ethiopia.

With the ongoing reforms, we think that there can be good opportunity to transcend the country to a new chapter.

For us (OLF), it is visible that the next chapter or the future is bright. Many changes are attained at the sacrifices of many and I can certainly say that the change will not be reversed, Kejela assured.

Since sustaining the reform needs concerted effort, parties are expected to come up with better programs and strengthen their capacity, while government should keep its word of widening the political space and amending relevant laws, he said.

Public Relations Head of All Amhara Peoples Organization; Engineer Tadesse Kebede said on his part that he was able to witness a lot of changes since his arrival.

I was very much moved by what I have seen, he said, and made clear that his party is ready to encourage the people and further continue their participation.

The political situation is not bad, but still everybody needs to work hard. It is not really on the ground but there is a good indication to run the political agenda, Tadesse stated.

National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) Chairperson, Samia Zekaria said that the board organized a meeting and introduced the returned political parties about the legal procedures on how to organize and be registered.

She added that the board within the reform and inclusively, is trying to bring all the stakeholders and political parties, both from overseas and within the country.

We should work together, we are partners. So, we are going to be with them in support, every support and they have to work according to the rules and regulations, the Chairperson said.

Samia said the board is gathering useful information from stakeholders on the electoral system and ideas of amending the electoral law.

She said that the government has already established a committee to implement the plan of automating the electoral process.

Under the leadership of PM Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia is undertaking numerous reforms, among others, allowing political parties to return and peacefully take part in overall national agendas.

Following that many armed and unarmed political parties that have resided abroad have returned to Ethiopia to pursue peaceful political struggle.

OLF, Tigray Democratic Coalition Party, Oromo Democratic Front (ODF), and United Oromo Liberation Front (UOLF) are among the returned political parties and leadership of the Patriots Ginbot 7 is expected to arrive this weekend.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia’s Future Bright, But Challenging: Opposition

Addis Ababa The opposition block that has been in exile for many years are returning to Ethiopia following the sweeping reforms hoping to continue their struggle peacefully.

Tigray Democratic Coalition Party, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and All Amhara Peoples Organization are among the parties that return home following the call from PM Abiy Ahmed for peaceful struggle.

These parties believe that the future is bright due to the sweeping reform but challenging as it requires a lot of work in institutionalizing it.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, officials of the Tigray Democratic Coalition Party and OLF voiced their optimism for a wider political space.

For Aregawi Berhe, Chairperson Tigray Democratic Coalition Party, who said he was unable to form a party in the country due to the narrow political space, this is a good opportunity to pursue his wish.

So, now it looks a golden opportunity has opened for everybody. Of course we had some opportunities in the past but we did not use them..small groups would snatch power will lead everybody according to their wills and whips, and that was not helpful. But now, thanks to this change, it looks very open for every stakeholder to participate in building a state or nation where every citizen can equally benefit, he pointed out.

However, he said this is just the beginning. Concrete measures are needed and policies and decisions should also touch the ground in order to sustain the reform. I think it must be further strengthened in institutionalized way.

So far the government has opened the political space where left or right [winged] political parties could participate, but it is only the opening not concrete policies and decisions. I think the burden of the government that opened the door for change and to create the platform for the stakeholders, he said.

Aregawi, who emphasized the need to build a system that represent every citizen, said previous governments have failed to do so. This is the sticking point Ethiopia could not progress forward, he added.

This is the drawback which Ethiopia was facing, Aregawi said underlining the need to change this situation.

In the New Year, I can guess or hope that, these change promoters who are in power will create the condition where all stakeholders can participate in nation building as well as in a legitimate state building, he added.

Kejela Merdassa, member of the OLF Central Committee, who recently returned home after 27 years in exile, hopes for a better future of Ethiopia.

With the ongoing reforms, we think that there can be good opportunity to transcend the country to a new chapter.

For us (OLF), it is visible that the next chapter or the future is bright. Many changes are attained at the sacrifices of many and I can certainly say that the change will not be reversed, Kejela assured.

Since sustaining the reform needs concerted effort, parties are expected to come up with better programs and strengthen their capacity, while government should keep its word of widening the political space and amending relevant laws, he said.

Public Relations Head of All Amhara Peoples Organization; Engineer Tadesse Kebede said on his part that he was able to witness a lot of changes since his arrival.

I was very much moved by what I have seen, he said, and made clear that his party is ready to encourage the people and further continue their participation.

The political situation is not bad, but still everybody needs to work hard. It is not really on the ground but there is a good indication to run the political agenda, Tadesse stated.

National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) Chairperson, Samia Zekaria said that the board organized a meeting and introduced the returned political parties about the legal procedures on how to organize and be registered.

She added that the board within the reform and inclusively, is trying to bring all the stakeholders and political parties, both from overseas and within the country.

We should work together, we are partners. So, we are going to be with them in support, every support and they have to work according to the rules and regulations, the Chairperson said.

Samia said the board is gathering useful information from stakeholders on the electoral system and ideas of amending the electoral law.

She said that the government has already established a committee to implement the plan of automating the electoral process.

Under the leadership of PM Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia is undertaking numerous reforms, among others, allowing political parties to return and peacefully take part in overall national agendas.

Following that many armed and unarmed political parties that have resided abroad have returned to Ethiopia to pursue peaceful political struggle.

OLF, Tigray Democratic Coalition Party, Oromo Democratic Front (ODF), and United Oromo Liberation Front (UOLF) are among the returned political parties and leadership of the Patriots Ginbot 7 is expected to arrive this weekend.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency