Opinion: The merger of EPRDF into EPP, will it become a de-facto one-party state?
This is just me thinking freely, not having the answers as an outsider looking in. It is not like I understand all the players nor the objectives behind the merger. But too me, this seems like a step in a ONE-Party state direction. The idea might to have a party, which isn’t directly bound by region/ethnicity, like all the parties of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) was.
That with the party of Amhara, the party of Oromo, the party of the Southern Ethiopia, and the party for the Tigray. This being the ADP, ODP, TPLF and SEPDM. All of them merged into the Ethiopian Prosperity Party (EPP) seems like a trick to get one unit and centralize power. That is what looks to me. Instead of having other outfits and parties with their own constitution and their policies for their regions. This is to have one party and one organization instead of several.
I have a feeling there will be deflections, as someone will not follow this model and this vision. Everyone will not follow the line. There will be renegades at the Council of Ministers and within the Parliament. Who feel overshadowed and feel left behind. They will feel tricked and exposed for their lack of progressive thinking. Even if this opens up doors, which the EPP doesn’t seem to think off.
The EPP might be a good idea, but the structure, the ability to guide and lead within this paradigm shift. Will cost. The Prime Minister and his closest associates will be tested. Because, they still have to find a solution where all the old parties are embedded in the new big-party. Where they are not a coalition, but one party. They got to give way and give positions to everyone. Therefore, this will not be an easy trade.
Lastly, there are other parties in Ethiopia. There are a 57 opposition parties, but its not like the EPRDF nor the EPP have listen to them. Not like the Parliament is without other parties, but they are dominated by the ruling parties, which it has been for so long. There are the Coalition for Unity and Democracy, also the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces. So, its not like there is other parties in the Parliament, but they got no say. Just like the new election laws whose in favour of the old coalition and the new party.
That’s why my mind goes to the idea of the EPP is in a way of launching a one-party state. Nothing else. I might be wrong, but the other parties doesn’t have the state machinery behind them nor the other helpful ways of appointing people into the judiciary and the electoral body. That’s why I am thinking this is another way of having what I worry about.
I hope I am dead wrong, but to initially make the coalition into a party is a first step. Especially since it has the parliamentary majority and with anticipation that it will have that after the election in 2020. To think otherwise is naive and the plans for that is in the making. Peace.