The Revolutionary Democrats…




The Revolutionary Democrats have now gone through one of their major undertakings of the past few years; national elections. It is perplexing though to see an outcome which has displeased both the winners and losers, gossip observed. There is as much unease within the leadership of the EPRDF on this as was evident in the run up to the national elections, gossip noted.

Now the EPRDFites have ahead of them a congress of the Front, which may likely take place in September or October, claims gossip. A congress will be a venue where the current chairman, Hailemariam Desalegn, solidifies his hold in the party before being re-installed as Prime Minister by Parliament where his party and its allies will have complete reign, gossip foresees.

There is literally no signal coming from the Revolutionary Democratic camp if they have the desire or intention to change horse in the middle of the race, claims gossip. For all those at the gossip corridors can tell, Hailemariam will have a full mandate of five years to run the government for the next five years, claims gossip.

However, many expect him to be a different person than he has been over the past three years since he took residence up in Menelik II Palace, claims gossip.

Trying to fill the big shoes of his predecessor, Hailemariam has been biding his time to learn the craft of leadership ‘on the fly’, while at the same time building consensus among varied groups and individuals within the sphere of the Revolutionary Democrats, according to gossip. It has been a sharp contrast in leadership style to the late Meles Zenawi, who had believed a leader should have the courage to say “No”. For some of the veterans, seeing a leader with an agreeable personality was very frustrating to almost all, claims gossip.

They would rather see an assertive party head and leader of a country, now that he will be granted the full mandate to govern, says gossip. The litmus test to the extent of his assertiveness will come soon when the architecture of his new administration begins to unfold. Already in the making, the two headiest political events once the congress passes is the formation of cabinet portfolios and the subsequent appointments to fill their top offices.

It is customary to see the alignment and separation of all but traditional ministries such as agriculture, defence, education, and finance, to name few. For instance, there is no real need in creating a mega ministry for the civil service, with added responsibility to oversee the execution of good governance, says gossip.

Good governance is a practice and culture rather than a task to be accomplished by a particular agency, thus the possibility of downgrading it to its historical status of a commission, claims gossip. Then there is the Ministry of Mines, all on its own in a country where there is little to administer, according to gossip. It may get lumped with the energy sector, leaving irrigation and water resources on their own, claims gossip.

There will be hardly any brawl over the anatomy of the cabinet portfolio among the EPRDFites, according to gossip. It will all be about the convenient and effective way of running the public’s business. Where Hailemariam is expected to make his mark is in the appointments of members of his cabinet, an affair too delicate to handle, claims gossip.

Far from beginning the screening process, there are some certainties in here too, according to gossip. For instance, those in the security and defence establishment are there to stay, while reshuffling is hovering over the heads of civilian federal agencies such as the central bank as well as ministries of water resources, trade, finance, and federal affairs, gossip disclosed.



Published on June 7, 2015 [ Vol 16 ,No 788]


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