The political bureau of the TPLF issued a communique late last week…




For the first time in a long while, the political bureau of the TPLF issued a communique late last week which frankly and candidly represents the internal dynamics of a political force that has claimed centrality among the Revolutionary Democrats for over two decades, gossip claims. Released at the conclusion of the Front’s marathon meeting held in the town of Meqelle, the statement shows how much the TPLFites have been inward-looking and reflective of what has been ailing their party for so long, says gossip.

Chief among the six papers tabled to the Central Committee meeting were those authored by Alem Gebrewahid, the youngest among the political bureau members and serving the Front as Secretary, and Beyene Mikru, another politburo member, as well as a report by the audit commission of the Front, gossip disclosed. While many find the latter damning for showing the party for what it has been – weakened – the 60-page paper authored by the duo focused on current paralysis and the way forward, gossip revealed.

The verdict from such grim appraisal is written all over the place in TPLF’s official communique for all to see, claims gossip. The core leadership of the Front has been divided not to have principled unity of purpose; segregated along the offensive and defensive groups, harbouring entrenched anti-democratic traits.

The statement also acknowledged a leadership complacent with incremental gains and not providing strategical guidance. It also admitted to having a troubled relationship with other parties allied in the governing coalition, while it remained pacified with “chauvinistic and narrow nationalist forces” pose threat to the constitutional order.

For a party that has such candid conversation, it is inevitable for it to have a shake-up in the composition of its core leadership when the meeting resumes next Tuesday, claims gossip. Abay Woldu, who has been chairman of the party since 2012, has his days numbered to hold on to his position, gossip anticipates. The question remains who would replace him as a chairman among the three hopefuls: Debretsion Gebremichael (PhD), now deputy; Alem Gebrewahid and Fetleworq G. Egziabiher (a.k.a Monjorno). Gossip anticipated there would likely be some to be elevated to the Politburo, such as Asmelash H. Sellasie (a.k.a Abay Nefso), and some pushed out, such as Addisalem Balema (PhD), now vice president of the regional government.

Many in the rank and file have not been pleased with Debretsion for he is seen more technical than the outspoken and articulate leader they have been in search for, claims gossip. He is blamed for his reluctance to take firm positions on issues when debated at the politburo; neither is he known to author policy and ideological papers guiding the party in its political journey, according to gossip. Alem, who joined the TPLF while a boy enrolled in the schools under the liberated areas of the TPLF during the struggle, is considered to be too young, claims gossip. It will be short of revolutionary for the TPLF to install a female as its chairman in its history of four decades, claims gossip.

However, whoever comes as a leader of the TPLF, there will hardly be a repeat of the Front’s leadership in the past five years, gossip foresees. Power will be consolidated, and the political bureau will display better cohesion than before if judged by what has transpired over the past few weeks.

Azeb Mesfin, the embattled member of the politburo, walked out in protest of the manner in which criticism and self-criticism were carried out and threatened to talk to the media, although she had changed her mind on the latter, gossip disclosed. Even though the criticisms concerning her, for being a polarising force in the party, had already passed, what triggered her departure was the criticism directed at Abay, the region’s president, gossip revealed.

Expectedly, a regrouped TPLF, with a consolidated power at its helm, will work to reclaim its place in the EPRDF and the federal government, claims gossip. The moves its leadership will take, and the responses it will face from rather increasingly assertive allies in the coalition will shape politics in Ethiopia for the years to come, gossip foresees.



Published on Nov 19,2017 [ Vol 18 ,No 917]


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