It is one thing to have a palace staff getting off the rail in New York…

It is one thing to have a palace staff getting off the rail in New York. It is a whole different ballgame to deal with a series of resignations by veteran Revolutionary Democrats, whose places in the EPRDFites have so much to reckon with, claims gossip.

And when one of these attributes his resignation to a sense of “disrespect to his party,” the affairs become a significant milestone in bringing to light a substantial crack in the Revolutionary Democrats’ camp that has been brewing – albeit quietly – for some time now, gossip says. It exposed where the EPRDF stands now: from profound renewal to deep crisis in leadership, claims gossip.

The weight of resignations first by Abadula Gemeda, speaker of parliament, followed by Bereket Simon, senior policy advisor to the Prime Minister, reverberated across the rank and file of the party and its supporters, gossip observed. It has shaken their confidence that after all the old good party may have reached beyond rapprochement, claims gossip.

Yet both leaders have not stated their complete withdrawal from active public life. Abadula for one said he would continue serving the OPDO and his constituency in the legislative house, thereby challenging the current status quo. Bereket expressed in his letter, submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office earlier this week, his desire to resign from “all responsibilities” assigned to him by the Prime Minister, gossip disclosed. It appears to be a decision born out of frustrations over the party’s leadership unabated fragmentation to act in unison, according to gossip.

Nonetheless, efforts continued last week to bring reconciliation and in a bid to bring calm before leadership cohesiveness is lost altogether, claims gossip.

It is clear though that the EPRDF, as a ruling force of a coalition of parties, has become devoid of its core leadership, gossip claims. The ironclad party culture in democratic centralism, where internal deliberations and debates culminated into decisions by the party’s bigwigs and complied with the letters, appears to have long gone, gossip observed.

A weak core leadership at the EPRDF has led to power contests by leaders of the component parties, mainly in not only asserting their autonomies within the regions they lead. They are also demanding of concessions in their terms of powerful positions in federal institutions to their respective leaders, says gossip.

The going is getting tough, and the road ahead will no doubt be rough among the Revolutionary Democrats, gossip foresees.

The confrontations will very likely be between regional powers as the case has been between the TPLF and ANDM as well as the OPDO and the Ethiopian Somali Peoples’ Democratic Party (ESPDP) over claims to areas bordering their respective regional states. Those at the gossip corridors see the next standoff between leaders of the TPLF, the most senior partner in the EPRDF, and leaders of other parties who may be tempted to drift away from the coalition. Save Lemma Megersa, chairman of the OPDO, overture in his reconciliatory tone, says gossip.

Despite many in their rank and file feel they owe no more to this country than others in the EPRDF, there are those in the TPLF leadership with the onus to save the current regime from possible collapse, claims gossip. It should be little surprise, says gossip. After all, the TPLF fought hard and paid so much to dismantle a century old regime and midwived the current federal set-up along linguistic-cultural fault lines, claims gossip.

The weight of issues on the TPLF’s leadership is evident from the way it is undertaking the meeting in Meqelle, claims gossip. Unusually, it has taken much longer only to get interrupted due to political developments at the centre, gossip disclosed. The TPLF’s leadership could manage to trash out just two of the six agendas tabled for its central committee, held for two weeks in a row, gossip revealed.

The meeting will resume earlier this week; its conclusion will no doubt shape the way politics is played in this country for the years to come, if only it can restore the core leadership at the EPRDF, claims gossip.

Published on Oct 24,2017 [ Vol 18 ,No 913]



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