Ethiopia :EPRDF’s 11th Conference

October 5, 2018

T.Goshu

Given the very ongoing critical struggle for the realization/establishment of a fundamentally democratic and prosperous society for the first time in our political history, Dr Abyie is much better than his comrades in relative terms to serve as a leader!!! And we should be glad about it and we need to firmly stand with his very vision, agenda and policy he intends to advance.
But, the way do it cannot and should not be submissive which is of course very self-dehumanizing. We have to engage ourselves in a very serious and genuine political dialogue and discussion not as yes or uncritical subjects but as demanding and critical citizens!!! I strongly argue it is because of the terrible lack of this kind of political mentality that we make ourselves victims of highly jargonized and sensational political statements and rhetoric.
I want to argue that to my understanding, the outcome of the Hawasa Conference is neither surprising nor unexpected as he (the PM) has been and being seen by almost all the four members of the ruling front (EPRDF), including TPLF as the best savior and factor of the continuation of the political power of EPRDF by taking a reform that could paint EPRDF with kind of illuminating or bright political image than ever.
This conference was very successful in this perspective and it is not a bad thing as such. The question is to what extent it can turn out itself to be the genuine and decisive force for the realization of a fundamental democratic change in the country of more than ninety million population?
The very notion that TPLF could be the destructive force during the Conference was highly/foolishly subjective or exaggerated by most of us. TPLF is not simply a collection of foolish ethno-centric politicians. It knows very well how to survive in a very difficult if not dangerous political environment, and it did it. And that is the very clear case we have observed during the Conference.
Believe or not, despite the fact that we have tried to make arguments and views that the purpose and outcome of the Conference would be extraordinarily historic, that is not what has been reflected in the process and in the outcome of the Conference.
I know we my argue that as the devil is in the details, let’s wait and see. Yes, this makes sense if it is done with great caution and genuine follow up. The very statement or concluding summary of the Conference is not really different from the very day-to-day highly vague and generalized political rhetoric we have been hearing and reading for the last few months.
I hope some meaningfully analytical, objective, critical, and developmental (incremental) explanations of critical and timely issues may surface sooner, not later.
I also strongly argue and believe that it is the duties and responsibilities of good citizens to engage in critical and productive discussions and comments on this very political juncture of our country. We cannot afford to remain spectators and receivers of highly unqualified and unsubstantiated political rhetoric and promise here after.
Yes, we should go beyond making noises and flooding streets with highly emotional and disorganized way of doing politics.
Yes, we desperately need to be very careful and wise not to be victims of a very shot-lived political relief (amusement) which has been one of the greatest weaknesses of ours for a long period of our political history.
We have to be seriously mindful or constantly remind ourselves that we are far and far away from the realization of a political system that should be a very source of mutual happiness as this concept is quite different from amusement (temporary (short-lived) relief as we have come through for the last few months and we seem continue to be so.
To my understanding, this conference and its concluding statement ignites more questions than answers as it intentionally or otherwise left out very pivotal or indispensable political issues and socio-economic challenges. That is why I want to underscore that all genuinely concerned fellow Ethiopians in general and intellectuals in particular have to show that they are willing and capable of challenging and helping politicians who might and may not either willing or able to go beyond their highly jargonized and emotion -appeal or emotion- driven political rhetoric but walk a very slow and confusing walk.
Agree or disagree, it seems that EPRDF is so worried about how to become the “outshining” force of change by foolishly or cynically claiming the success of the ongoing change and to become victorious in the upcoming election .It says that the opposition forces have to play their role using a political space available. It did not answer at least in general terms the question of what? , how? Who? When? Where? And how?
To my understanding, trying to continue the political domination of EPRDF in the name of serious and deep reform is not going to work at all. It is good for the country and for itself (EPRDF) to engage with all concerned and viable opposition political forces and civil organizations in a genuine and truly participatory dialogue and mutual understanding. It is then and only then that the political rhetoric of participatory political system or political space can become true. Electing a relatively willing and capable individuals is great. But, as long as these individuals are captives of the very political culture and disciplinary system of EPRDF as well as ethno-centrism, there is no way for them to register a success story of establishing a free and democratic society.
I do not believe that whatever EPRDF may claim to be the leading force of bringing about a just and truly democratic system, it will not be true without a very wide and thoroughly active engagement of all relatively viable and genuine opposition political forces and civil societies. And we still do not see or sense any meaningful and viable interest from the ruling party. And I do not believe it (EPRDF) will take this front of political willingness and engagement seriously and courageously because it very well knows that this is not in its own political interest of presenting itself as the leading force of the reform . Engaging in a serious and consequential political dialogue and discourse with opposing forces requires (demands) the willingness and determination to sacrifice one’s own interest for the sake of national interest and peoples’ well-being . Does EPRDF have this kind of patriotic nature and courage? I do not think so. Unfortunately!

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