Ethiopia: The Reform Is Steppingstone for Stronger Contending Parties - Representatives

(File photo).

Addis Ababa — The ongoing reform is a steppingstone to form well-organized, competing political parties that have defined political programs and strategies to play their role in nation building, according to party representatives.

It was recalled that 107 Ethiopian political parties have signed a code of conduct on March 14, 2019. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed recently called upon political parties to merge and form strong, united, and competent.

President of Semaywei Party, Yeshiwas Assefa told ENA that for Ethiopians to realize their long term desire for full-fledged change, they have to be governed by the parties which come to power through votes in free and fair elections.

For such target to be a reality, there have to be well organized political parties with clear policies and strategies that could lead the general public, according to Yeshiwas.

"All parties have to use this opportunity because such transition happens rarely in years. It doesn't even compare with elections since it comes in a very short period," he noted.

"We have a responsibility to form a well competent and strategically organized political party with common stand to compete with the government. We have been working to realize this ambition for so long with other parties. Movements, parties, fronts and others with similar ideas and ideology have been joined us," he said.

He pointed out that six parties have decided to work together and preparations are finalizing to form strong party which strives to social justice across the country.

"The criteria to form the targeted strong party are very easy and clear. Parties need to have unshakeable stand on Ethiopiansim and believing in the great history of the country; any keen party or individual who could strive for true democratization and ensuring social justice in Ethiopia, is welcomed," he underlined.

President of Gaada System Promoting Party, Abba Boku Adane Driba said parties with similar ideologies should swiftly merge to form stronger parties.

"Now, citizens are wondering on how well over 100 parties would continue to work in the country," he insisted.

Since the election period is ticking fast, it is better for the parties to decide and narrow down their differences and form genuine competing parties, he pointed out.

The major agenda of Ethiopian political parties are hinges around two issues namely ensuring fair representation and distribution of social and economic resources at every level, it was indicated.

For a politician Eng. Yilkal Getnet, merging of political parties who have relatively similar ideas and ideology is so crucial to combine their financial, human and other resources to utilize together among others.

In the past, Ethiopian opposition parties had little chance to compete against the ruling EPRDF for a quarter of a century. The EPRDF had no meaningful opposition that could have challenges.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has turned national politics in somersaults on its head since he came to power last year by welcoming exiled opposition groups, releasing prisoners and appointing a formerly jailed dissident as head of the election board.

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