The equality, which is supposed to be embraced throughout the regions of Ethiopia, has become little more than the annual cultural shows broadcast across the country. The time has come for the ruling EPRDF party to listen to the voices of the opposition and make good on its promises for reform.

In a multiparty democracy system nation, like Ethiopia, it is clearly stipulated in the relevant articles of the Constitution that citizens have the right to choose between alternative parties. Citizens also have the right to be members of whichever party they want to be part of.

After an election, which ever party that comes to power has the responsibility to respect the rights of other people with differing views and belonging to other political parties.

That is the lesson we learn from the inception of multiparty politics in Western democracies. Several centuries have passed by in this part of the world, with developing and evolving major parties whose ideologies and policies have become dominant. They all, however, have the objective of bringing freedom and a better life for every citizen.

“Equal rights” for each and every one remains to be the essential pillar for building the house in which every member is provided shelter. No house can stand upright without a foundation. The footing can be a floating base, depending on the type of soil, as well as its depth. Every party has the responsibility to play its role in consolidating and strengthening the common shelter.

In Ethiopia, we have noticed that different political parties have tried to compete through the promotion of their views across various media outlets. They campaigned by promoting their views on how to address the multifaceted challenges of the people, giving priority to issues that could bring about socio-economic and political change, in keeping with the curbing of poverty within the shortest time possible.

The Ruling Party took the lion’s share of the media coverage during the pre-election period. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn had said that this time the voting would be the most fair, reliable, participatory and democratic. Those of us who have lived long enough to remember that election time promises and rhetoric sometimes go so far as to become humorous.

The party’s promises are now strangling itself; sending it down into their depths of despair where it currently finds itself.

The Ruling Party must be more inclusive to other political parties in the country – especially in light of the recent unrest in parts of the country. There should not be any more silencing of opposition voices.

Work has begun to break apart Semayawi Party. This time, a crack in the party has formed, with a general assembly being called following an audit report. One wonders if this is a conspiracy aimed at politically dismantling the party.

However, Ethiopians everywhere in the country have joined hands and agreed to consolidate strength to bring about changes. This truth is undeniable. Wrong doings, even if repeated, cannot make something untrue become the truth.

A country, which under the Imperial Regime was known to have been fighting staunchly against Apartheid in South Africa and colonialism in Zimbabwe – even to the extent of harbouring the freedom fighters, the likes of Nelson Mandela – has now fallen into the quagmire of using excessive force in dealing with riots.

The language based federal system has questions of equality, which has been inscribed in the country’s constitution. That equality has now culminated in little more than an annual merry-go-round of shows, with traditional songs being presented in different cities around the country, regardless of the amount of money spent to organise such events.

This kind of extravagance simply goes to prove that the party leaders can squander the country’s assets to acquire loyalty and submission among decadent fellows with no conscience of their own.

How can the ruling party mend such dishonesty? It should stick to its promises made during the election campaign and make good on its word.

By Girma Feyissa

Published on Sep 28,2016 [ Vol 17 ,No 856]



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