Coming out of longer than two weeks of ordeal by the Executive Committee …

Coming out of longer than two weeks of ordeal by the Executive Committee members of the EPRDF, the Revolutionary Democrats have begun the struggle to meet the tall order of inflated public expectations, gossip observed. To a somewhat animated public, at least in the urban centres, attritional statement at the end of the unusually long meeting is not just enough, gossip noted.

To the dismay of many, the Executive Committee had to debate little in the form of policies, if any, gossip disclosed. If there was anything proclaimed grave, it was a report tabled by the Chairman of the ruling party, Hailemariam Desalegn, who had declared the EPRDF is tattered, putting the country into tribulations, claims gossip. Aside from individuals recriminations – where some of them were monologuing for two to three hours – much of the debate was centred on whether there existed a dominance of the TPLF in the party and the government, and if the OPDO was drifting away from the EPRDF’s sphere of influence, gossip disclosed.

The leadership came out of the meeting with a declaration that it has reclaimed a unity of “purpose” and “action” to pursue lofty goals of reforms.

A starter was a symbolic but monumental decision to transform a forensic and investigation department on Belay Zeleke (Dej.) Street, built by the Italians and served all regimes as an interrogation facility, employing cruel methods, into a museum. The pledge to release from jail some of the political figures serving jail terms or currently fighting criminal charges was one more reason for the change in public mood and euphoria last week, gossip observed.

Without these Christmas surprises, the press briefing chairs of the four parties in the ruling coalition have given to the state media would have left the public in vain and utter frustration, claims gossip. Nonetheless, the public continues to expect even higher, that more reforms be on the way, gossip noted.

But what the Revolutionary Democrats have achieved from their recent meeting was not much more than the reinstitution and reaffirmation of the iron discipline of democratic centralism as well as a broader consensus on the need to ascertain stability and ensure law and order, gossip disclosed. They may have agreed that there should be no second-guessing allowed, claims gossip.

This needs to get communicated to the rank and files of each party in the coalition in the weeks to come, says gossip. There will be a series of meetings scheduled by the mid-level delegates of cadres from each party estimated to reach at 2,500 congregated in Addis Abeba before they were made to face the public across the country, gossip disclosed.

Central Committees of the three parties in the coalition – spare the TPLF – will have to go back to the drawing board to conduct the “criticism and self-criticism” party ritual, gossip anticipated. This will likely lead to demotions, suspensions or purging of political leaders found to be responsible for all the ills the Executive Committee has admitted the party and the country were subjected to, claims gossip.

The series of political assignments in bringing onboard an army of mid-level cadres to speed; arming them with courage so that they impel the public to buy the Revolutionary Democrats’ pronounced resolves for reform; and realign the top leadership of each party in the coalition need to be completed before the next party convention of the EPRDF, gossip claims.

Delayed by six months from the regular two-year schedule it usually ought to take place, the convention was originally planned for March 2018. It is very likely that realism dictates upon the EPRDF leadership to postpone the convention to a date no earlier than June this year, gossip anticipated.

Published on Jan 06,2018 [ Vol 18 ,No 923]



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