Almost all the bigwigs of the Revolutionary Democrats descended…



Almost all the bigwigs of the Revolutionary Democrats descended on Guba on Saturday, April 2, 2016, the site of their signature project, Africa’s biggest hydro dam in the making. They were there to mark the fifth anniversary where their chief priest, the late Meles Zenawi, had heralded the nation’s Renaissance, but in the way his party sees it fit.


Almost all the bigwigs of the Revolutionary Democrats descended on Guba on Saturday, April 2, 2016, the site of their signature project, Africa’s biggest hydro dam in the making. They were there to mark the fifth anniversary where their chief priest, the late Meles Zenawi, had heralded the nation’s Renaissance, but in the way his party sees it fit.

Ironically, his party does not find itself in the best shape today, claims gossip. Perhaps, the gathering in Guba could be the last time they all meet in such form, for very soon the configuration of both the leadership and the very organisation may change, claims gossip. The Revolutionary Democrats will have their Council members congregated in Addis, to conduct their occasional meeting possibly over the next weekend, gossip disclosed.

The Council’s meeting is one large gathering of the EPRDF, next to the congress the party faithfully holds every other year. Although elections for the executive committee of the Front may not take place when the Council meets, thorny issues the executive committee members are unable to sort out amongst themselves are brought to its attention.

Thus, the upcoming Council meeting is to confront issues of its leaders deemed “corrupt” in as much as they are found “chauvinist and narrow nationalists,” gossip says. The EPRDFites have a history of a leadership with complicated and largely territorial inter-party relationships, claims gossip. Yet, there are several leaders known to have strong bonds crossing the territory of each political party within the coalition, gossip disclosed.

Some of the leaders want to see the upcoming Council meeting untangle this web of relationships, hoping to see the party overcome its current political paralysis and navigate through the storm, says gossip. Interestingly, others would like to see the party’s leadership to go beyond such measures in order to surmount the territoriality of its member parties, claims gossip.

They want to see the EPRDF abandon its nature of loose coalition and move on to become a unified party, gossip disclosed. Indeed, this has been the unfulfilled ambition of the late Meles, ever since he and his comrades engineered the formation of the Front in 1989, in the northern outpost of Harge Selam, gossip recalls.

Meles had felt on many occasions that the agenda of transforming the Front to a unified party was untimely, although very desirable, gossip recalls. Yet, the strongest resistance to the idea was from many leaders of his own party, the TPLF; although those of the OPDO were no less averse to the idea, the strongest proponents were in the ANDM, according to gossip.

In a twist of history, there are now voices in the TPLF calling for a drive to form a united EPRDF, believing that it is the potent political move the Revolutionary Democrats can take to salvage their current fragmentation, gossip disclosed. Some are even in regret recalling lost opportunities right after the demise of the military government, when the leadership could have declared mission accomplished and unified the Front, says gossip.

Today, the strong resistance remains persistent with many leaders of the OPDO, who always are uncomfortable with the idea fearing it would require them to relinquish their “hard earned” organisational and regional autonomy, claims gossip. What is different this time around is that they are joined by some in the new generation leadership of the ANDM, gossip says. Yet, it is difficult to tell if the struggle for the soul of the EPRDF will include its unification in the next Council meeting, although there are leaders determined to see it happen, claims gossip.



Published on Apr 05,2016 [ Vol 16 ,No 831]


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