One of the rare but consequential moments are just around the corner, gossip foresees…

In the nearly 30-year history of the Revolutionary Democrats, they have been through the thick and thin. Theirs have been a history of mostly triumph and few periods of tribulations. One of the rare but consequential moments are just around the corner, gossip foresees.

Another moment of reckoning has arrived, following the expected but surprising resignation of their second chairman, Hailemariam Desalegn, claims gossip. He was an accidental Prime Minister installed in office in the aftermath of the passing of his predecessor, Meles Zenawi.

Expected, because dissatisfactions with his consensual style of leadership, which made him indecisive, was building up among the party leaders, the bureaucracy, the intelligence and the military, according to gossip. Surprising because no one had seen it coming particularly now, before the party`s convention scheduled for June 2018,claims gossip.

It has not been so much about Hailemariam`s departure from the party`s chairmanship, a move which entails leaving the position of the Prime Minister, says gossip. The Revolutionary Democrats knew all along that they would come out deeply polarised and bitterly divided over the squabble to pick the person to replace the Chairman, much more than the fight they could have over to remove him, claims gossip.

The genie is out of the bottle now. So the cleavage began to widen over the question of who to select as the third chairman of the EPRDF, and third Prime Minister since the formation of the Republic in 1995, according to gossip. There is the highly gratified candidate to the job in Abiy Ahmed (PhD), a second generation Revolutionary Democrat and a rising politician elevated to the position of the chairman of the OPDO, one of the four parties in the ruling coalition.

With a background in the military and cyber intelligence, many in the public believe Abiy is the most hopeful for the EPRDF`s top job, gossip observed. No doubt, the party`s Council members from the OPDO will give him wholesale support when the actual vote takes place at the end of this week, gossip foresees.

The votes from Council members outside of his party should not be taken for granted though, claims gossip. For one, the TPLFites are believed to not field their candidate to contest the EPRDF chairmanship, hence will no doubt become the ultimate kingmakers, according to gossip. Whichever candidate fails to secure their support will find it difficult to muster enough votes to make it to the end, for their bloc-vote will carry so much weight, claims gossip.

Interestingly, the outgoing Chairman is no bystander in this highly contentious bid to replace him, disclosed gossip. Although not accurate to attribute one particular reason to what has led to his surprising resignation, fierce criticisms from his comrades in SEPDM that he tried to appease OPDO`s leaders at the expense of their party`s place and relevance in the coalition was the most immediate, gossip revealed.

Since his announcement of resignation, he has developed the habit of spending more time with the trio of the OPDO: Lemma Megersa, Abiy and Worqeneh Gebeyehu (PhD), often having them over to the Menelik Palace for lunch, gossip disclosed.

Hailemariam will have his farewell speech made to the public through the parliamentary platform when MPs return from recess next week, gossip revealed. He will no doubt have the moment to get things off his chest. However, whether or not he will have gracious exist and cordial legacy will be determined by how much he will be able to float above partisan politics and spare himself from embroiling in the fight to elect the person who will succeed him, gossip claims.

Published on Feb 25,2018 [ Vol 18 ,No 931]



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