There appears to be a shift of sorts in the balance of power at the House of the Revolutionary Democrats…




There appears to be a shift of sorts in the balance of power at the House of the Revolutionary Democrats, gossip observed. The recent meeting by the Council of the EPRDFites has been the political battleground between the alarmists, comprising a small element of veteran leaders, and the largely successive leadership – running the show but seen as complacent, if not incompetent – claims gossip.

For so long now, the latter group has had the upper hand in crafting the collective narrative that the path the country is following is promising; yet, to the frustration of the old guard, it simply views emerging issues as pockets of inevitable crises, and growth impacted, gossip says. It was a classic case of people choosing to view the same thing from different perspectives; some see the glass half full, while others see it half empty, according to gossip.

The recent meeting of the Council has reasserted the views of the veterans that the ruling party is on the edge of a cliff, due to its top leadership’s self serving mantra, claims gossip. The decision is to exercise “deeper and penetrating reforms”, which is to mean inevitable demotions and purges in the political bureau of each party in the governing coalition and executive committee members of the EPRDF, gossip anticipates.

Traditionally, such moves would amount to losses of senior positions in the regional governments’ structures and ministerial offices in the federal government. It appears that those who see the glass half empty, who seem to be reclaiming the upper hand in the power dynamics, are determined to take the rag off the bush, claims gossip. They want to reassign almost all those second-generation EPRDFites to positions of power, but are deemed not up to the task, and with questionable reputations, by the party’s secretariat on Niger Street in Arat Kilo, gossip claims.

Consequently, the chairman of the EPRDF, Hailemariam Desalegn, is plotting his way to form a new administration, which will perhaps be more technocratic, comprising non-party members in the cabinet for the first time in a decade, gossip says. If anyone has emerged from the recent Council meeting stronger, it should be Hailemariam; he was able to assert himself, at least rhetorically, and seems to have put himself in an upstanding position, according to gossip.

In such a climate, hardly any member of the cabinet in his administration is certain of their future in the ministerial offices, gossip disclosed. If any, it is only Hailemariam who has an office that is not up for a change of guard, claims gossip. One Minister, Mekuria Haile, has already been relieved of his position, requesting reassignment himself and appointed as yet another advisor to the Prime Minister, under the rank of a Minister. But he will soon be sent out to South Korea, for education extending no less than two years, gossip disclosed.

The question many in the gossip corridors ponder about now is the speed and extent of Hailemariam’s move in reconfiguring his party’s leadership and reassignments in the federal and regional offices. No doubt he will meet resistance, both covert and overt, from the highly entrenched and formidably networked partisan interests from within, gossip foresees.

To his advantage though, those in charge of the military and security establishments have reportedly overcome their historical attitude of mutual vying and paid allegiances to their Command-in-Chief for the first time since his ascendance to power, claims gossip. What is yet to be seen is whether Hailemariam’s resolve to act decisively in shaping up his administration will persist over the next three months, says gossip.



Published on Sep 13,2016 [ Vol 17 ,No 854]


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