Army Reform, GTP Performance Agenda for EPRDF`s Leadership Meet

A meeting by the top leadership of the ruling EPRDF has on its agenda a reform of the Ethiopian Defense Forces and discussions on the performance of the second edition of the national Growth & Transformation Plan, according to people knowledgeable of the Executive Committee meeting started today, in Addis Abeba.

The 36-member top leadership body resumed its meeting for the first time after it has changed its chairman in March 2018. Abiy Ahmed (PhD), now the third chairman of the EPRDF since its foundation in the late 1980s, chairs this meeting, eyeing a reform he told top brass of the military last week as “indispensable” for the existentialism of the country.

Abiy began his career in the Army and climbed its hierarchy to a Colonel before his departure to join the OPDO in the early 2000s.

The details of the reform agenda have not been disclosed yet; however, Abiy envisions an army above the political fray and stands in defence of the constitution.

“It should be an Army that is adaptable to regime change as long as a popular mandate elects another party should the EPRDF fails in its politics,” Abiy told a group of Generals who met him for the first time after Parliament installed him as a Prime Minister, in April 2018.

The report card on the performance the GTP has also been tabled to the Executive Committee meeting, scheduled to stay for two days. Members of the leadership will not have pleasant news, for, the country`s macroeconomy remains in a dire situation, calling for urgent policy reforms.

Inflation is in double-digit; foreign exchange reserve is low even to cover a 2.5-month import; the forex currency crunch is worsened; external debt puts the country in the list of highly indebted countries; and, domestic revenues mobilisation has not met the target, according to an internal evaluation report prepared by the National Planning Commission, in April 2018.

There could, however, be other side issues raised by members, according to people familiar with the party`s internal deliberations. But whether the veteran EPRDFites were invited to participate in such meeting without having the right to exercise voting, as tradition has it, is not clear.

Published on Jun 05,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 945]



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