Ethiopia: Contesting Parties' Resolve to Defended National Interest Ahead of New Parliament

As per the Ethiopian constitution, a party which has got majority of votes in the election has to introduce its cabinet and form government till the end of September Ethiopian calendar. For the past three years, the ruling party has been working on reforming government in a bid to answer public queries of good governance and democracy. But, many considered the reform as a transition or break away from three decades of repression by the former EPRDF party. The change began from releasing prisoners of consciences to a reforming the justice system, the electoral board and the education system and to forming gender balanced cabinet. These activities draw attention of the world to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Ethiopian people also renewed confidence in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government. Premier Abiy's party has rebranded its name to Prosperity Party giving equal chance to ethnic groups that were previously sidelined.

After reforming National Electoral Board, Ethiopia became capable of carrying out free and credible election last June in which the ruling party has got majority and other parties have also got some seats in the parliament. This will enable Prosperity Party and its leader Prime Minister Abiy to get more term to complete his visions of Ethiopia. However, Prime Minister Abiy vowed opposition parties would have a role or a position in a government to be formed. On June, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said: "We understand there are some individuals who are patriotic and with skills. So, we want to include these people even if they lost in the election. The inclusion of these people in the government will strengthen the country and help realize our mission which is peace and prosperity." Given the promises, the new government is anticipated to feature various backgrounds, skills and experience. It is evident that opposition parties did not hesitate to contribute share for country's transition in various areas of fields. Some opposition figures have forwarded constructive inputs for the reform in the education system, others offered their expertise to improve the economy while many of them are sharing government burden of defending country from foreign intervention. Therefore, citizens expect these individuals in opposition bloc to have a role to play despite they haven't won parliamentary seats.

As the participation and cooperation of parties make government strong and resourceful, the assumption is Ethiopia would have a chance to build consensus and unity and thereby it can realize peace, democracy and prosperity. The primary goal of parties hence would be creating atmosphere of togetherness that help nations to withstand various challenges it currently faced. Accordingly, Parties regardless of their constituency or ideology are calling for the unity of Ethiopians in this defining time. Among the parties that called Ethiopians for solidarity and unity is Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (EZEMA). Leader of the party, Professor Berhanu Nega told the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) that Ethiopians should strengthen cooperation and unity to fend of foreign intervention. Professor Berhanu says it vital for every Ethiopian to have a role in fight against the terrorist group TPLF and foreign intervention. Strengthening unity and cooperation in the face of foreign intervention would be imperative to defend Ethiopian sovereignty and realize stability. Professor dubbed Russia, China, Kenya and India have stood for justice and truth. Hence, Ethiopians should extend their appreciation and gratitude in different ways. But, he underlined citizens should do their internal assignment through patriotic feeling and fellow countrymen. The party is also mobilizing people to help people who are affected by the TPLF's aggression.

Another party that is currently engaged on stirring up people to fight for Ethiopia's territorial integrity and survival is the National Movement of Amhara (NAMA). NAMA has been collaborating with government in fight against TPLF. It has encouraged youth to join the Ethiopian national defense force and protect their country. The party has also made different discussion with diplomatic community and made attempt to update of real situation in Ethiopia. The party has also tried the international community to be aware of the suffering of Amhara people as TPLF made incursion.

In line with calling the unity of people, parties are also offering their expertise for political and socioeconomic issues of the country. They are also anticipated to play significant role in developing rules, laws and systems that would reconcile and democratize nations. They will also bring ways that could help manage inflation, unemployment and other economic issues. Parties will also sustain support and solidarity for the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. They are also giving moral and material support for people who are affected by the war.

Recently, Speaker of the Ethiopian House of Peoples' Representatives Tagesse Chaffo announced finalization of preparations to form the new Ethiopia government in October 4, 2021. According to House Speaker, there has been a wide range of reform activities undertaken to enhance house's capacity in becoming a strong representative of the public and addressing challenges in all sectors.

The reform activities are meant to advance the houses performance in formulation of laws, supervising government activities and others. For the effect, it will extend the number of standing committees from 7 to 13 and members will be assigned according to their respective skills and experience. The house speaker further expressed strong optimism that Ethiopia is in position to overcome challenges it is facing and achieve its development goals through public participation. He added the six round of parliamentary house will have true representation of Ethiopia and its aspiration.

On top of the urgent issues of inflation, shortage of foreign currency, unemployment and other economic issues, the new government will be tasked with a number of political related issues that would determine the unity, stability and prosperity of the country. Hence, the new government seeks the support of opposition parties, public figures and people.

Whether they get position in the government or seat at the parliament, opposition figures are expected to have crucial role in government to be formed in various ways. Among the areas, they would have irreplaceable role is building consensus among people, rehabilitation of people affected by the war, managing the economic woes and forwarding durable solution to Ethiopia's peace and stability.

BY KFLEEYESUS ABEBE

THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD 12 SEPTEMBER 2021

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