There was perhaps no time when the leadership of the Revolutionary Democrats…

There was perhaps no time when the leadership of the Revolutionary Democrats has been as polarized as now, gossip noticed. In fact, some at the gossip corridors rather prefer the word “multipolarized” to describe the hapless situation the leadership of the EPRDF is in now. Ironically, the fault lines have little to do with sharp differences over matters of ideological preferences as they are about competence, resolve, discipline and effectiveness, claims gossip.

Yet, it is very difficult to discern individual alliances on the basis of group formation; alignments are too fluid and the center of gravity is fractured inside the leadership of the ruling party, claims gossip.

The once too powerful nerve center of the Front, the EPRDF Council and its Secretariat, is no longer as biting as it used to be when it comes to coercing member parties such as the TPLF, ANDM and OPDO, gossip observed. Neither is the camaraderie among the senior leaders of these parties as cordial as it used to be in this climate of mutual mistrust and disdain.

Add to this the other dynamics. The veteran leaders of the Front, whose selflessness and sacrifice was tested in the battle fronts, see many in the second generation leadership as opportunistic, complacent, incompetent and not prepared to shoulder the responsibilities of power; yet, they themselves are not unified in the course of action that is needed to be taken, claims gossip.

Some of them smelled the rat long before the public revolt brewed, only to be dismissed as alarmists at the time, gossip recalled.

Interestingly, they had regained influence, for their clairvoyance gave them political currency. Their hands in orchestrating the party in a different chart, christened as “deep renewal,” had waned after the tragic loss of lives during the Irechaa event in November, gossip claims.
The younger generation of EPRDFites does not seem to have the appetite to digest the peddling of the “old guard,” abhorring it as a maneuvering to remain kingmakers, or better yet disguised as a comeback vehicle, says gossip.

There are now two clusters appearing to emerge in the leadership of the Revolutionary Democrats; those who believe the “deep renewal” is on a good footing, thus reason for political optimism, claims gossip. Others feel the sense of urgency in that the undercurrents that have led the Front to crises of such magnitude have barely been addressed; they fear not only this be wholesaling to the fate of the party, but will also unravel the country, gossip says.

Naturally, such paralysis in leadership leads to consequential results of a rank and file that is confused and disoriented, observed gossip. Interestingly, in the world of the Revolutionary Democrats, perhaps unlike many of the leftist parties whose culture they have inherited, it is the rank and file in the form of delegated army of cadres who are kingmakers when they meet at their conventions every two years.

The next convention of the EPRDF is scheduled for March 2018, six months later than what tradition dictates, gossip disclosed. For the leadership, and many of its infighting factions, it will not be business as usual; it will be a battleground, gossip heard some of the senior cadres saying. Chairman of the Front, Hailemariam Desalegn, a second generation EPRDFite, will have a tough time to navigate through not only of a fractured and infighting leadership but also the grossly dissatisfied and revolting rank and file, gossip foresees.

The rush to define the narrative and influence the body politic of the congress has already begun by the competing yet confusing groups, claims gossip.


Published on Jan 24,2017 [ Vol 17 ,No 873]



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