The Revolutionary Democrats have finally come around to realise what is going on…

The Revolutionary Democrats have finally come around to realise what is going on in the economy they have helped to keep up and running for over a decade now. With the increasing incursion into the economy by the Chinese, the Turks and the Indians, the issue of who should own national assets was a hotly debated subject at a recent senior level meeting of the EPRDFites, gossip disclosed.

Presided over by EPRDF Chairperson, Hailemariam Desalegn, the meeting was a sort of informal session whereby veteran and contemporary leaders of the party congregated, claims gossip. Based on a paper presented at the meeting, the leaders expressed their commitment to seeing the indigenous private sector galloping to take the heights of the economy, but conceded that the ruling party has not done much to realise this, gossip disclosed.

For first generation EPRDFites, whose roots are on the left side of the political spectrum, this policy entails the emergence of a bourgeoisie class seen through Marxian analysis as a “class which controls society’s wealth and means of production.”

In their rebellious youth, the veterans fought hard to dislodge such this budding class from power and position, hence, a concern by some not to see the replay of the 1950s and 1960s, claims gossip. Ironically, the choice left for them is to remain bystanders when foreign investors, particularly of Asian origin, control key sectors of the economy, according to gossip.

Creating ideological clarity on this fundamental issue dominated the meeting two weeks ago, gossip revealed. The dividing lines were between those leaders who are worried such acknowledgement of the place of the indigenous bourgeoisie may compel them to rethink the long-held position of the EPRDF on the subject, claims gossip. Outspoken in this group were leaders such as Hailemariam, Seyoum Mesfin and Getachew Assefa.

Others are, however, bent to believe any remote proposition of new thoughts away from the party’s traditional political line is a revisionist agenda of undoing the teachings of their late leader, Meles Zenawi. Not surprisingly, this group of leaders led by Azeb Mesfin, his widow, stood their ground defending the unadulterated prescription from Meles on how the nation’s political-economic affairs should be run, gossip disclosed.

Whether the party can change its feathers in its pragmatic response to changing global realities was also an issue that provoked an animated exchange of words, claims gossip. Meles never believed the party is static, thus, would not change for eternity, some have argued, says gossip.

Upon taking political power in 1991, the EPRDF changed its colours knowing that the change at a global scale was not favourable to the ideological convictions its leaders had brought from the field, gossip recalled. A decade later, during the political crises which rocked the top leadership, Meles was the first to pen his thoughts in the famous Bonapartism paper, thus paving the way for readjustment of the party’s many policies, says gossip.

It appears that the party is entering another decade of fault lines between those who are committed to seeing Meles’ writings implemented to the letter and others who are promoting the idea of pragmatic change, claims gossip. Ironically, the party’s leadership is increasingly dominated by the second generation of the Revolutionary Democrats who find themselves in the latter camp, according to gossip. Yet, the ideological battle within the EPRDFites is just the beginning, claims gossip

Published on Jun 21,2016 [ Vol 17 ,No 842]



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