The Revolutionary Democrats at a crossroad?

The Revolutionary Democrats find their state of affairs at a crossroad, gossip observed. Although they may have little by way of differences in their core ideological standings, which is a centre-left position on the ideological spectrum, recent developments show that groups are emerging within the ruling party along two major lines, gossip reveals.

There are those who vow their faithfulness to the teachings of their late chief priest, who had believed in the last of his breath, the country was not ready to open itself up to the vagaries of international capital, gossip recalls.

He had preferred to see a gradual and managed process of liberalization whether in opening the finance industry or the telecom sector as much as this was true with areas reserved for indigenous businesses, claims gossip. For instance, one of the stumbling blocks in Ethiopia`s long time bid to accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is lack of political commitment from the EPRDFites to respond to the queries member countries interested to engage with Ethiopia tabled for a long time now, according to gossip.

In as much as these groups of politicians appear to be determined to maintain the legacy of their late chief priest, they incline to see their comrades on the other side of the aisle as “revisionists,” who are willing to work in the services of global neoliberal forces, gossip observed. They blame the invisible hands of Tony Blare`s “men” who are on the payroll of UK`s development agency, DiFD, influencing the thoughts and decisions of senior policymakers and their advisors, such as Hailemariam Desalegn and Arkebe Oqubay (PhD), according to gossip.

Never mind that the recent executive committee meeting of the EPRDFites saw some members complaining about “reckless” overseas travels and increased per diem to senior ministers of the administration. In a more substantive issue, the fault lines have reemerged between those who push for an aggressive drive in establishing industrial parks across the country, and others who deem this as a carte blanche offer of the national economy to foreign investors, gossip disclosed.

Despite the public denial by Prime Minister Hailemariam over the existence of divisions within the ruling party on his administration`s decision to enter into the global sovereign bond market, gossip maintains that it was one of the contentious issues the party`s official presser skipped to mention at the end of the committee`s meeting, which took one additional day to finish than the usual two, gossip disclosed.

In all the fault lines the “pro Meles Legacy” group and those who advocate a new era of macroeconomic policymaking lays disputes over the administration`s alleged behaviour in circumventing the political body of the ruling party while making policy decisions, gossip disclosed. Hailemariam and his allies were challenged why the council of Ministers pushes its policy decisions in launching industrial parks or sell sovereign bonds behind the back of the EPRDF executive committee, claims gossip.

Indeed, all those with seats in the Council are members of the executive committee of the ruling party, which should make their decision as well as the ones endorsed by the EPRDF supreme policy body, Hailemariam and his allies, including Aster Mamo and Debrestion G. Michael (PhD), would have argued, gossip disclosed. Yet, there was the Minister of Industry, Ahmed Abitew, who is a member of both the Council and the executive committee, who was upset that he was as a stranger to the policy white paper on industrial parks as anyone of the other committee members, claims gossip. This has led to the issue of members of the Council are trusted by their comrades outside of it to act on their own; and bar those significantly departed from the party`s ideological pillars, gossip disclosed.

Published on January 04, 2014 [ Vol 15 ,No 766]



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