August 27, 2017 – Two Ethiopian main opposition groups, the All Ethiopian Union Party (AEUP) and Blue Party (Blue), briefed the diplomatic community about their proposed merger. Attendees appreciated the briefing and spoke in favor of the alliance that the two parties forged, according to the Ethiopian English weekly The Reporter. Among other things, the two oppositions briefed the diplomatic community on various political issues, including the impacts of state of emergency and the country’s political land scape.
The briefing held at the headquarters of AEUP located in the vicinity of Tewodros Square, was attended by some 21 representatives drawn from the American, Dutch, German, Norwegian, Swedish, Australian embassies and the Delegation of the European Union (EU). In this regard, they raised their concern and asked, “How will you become ready for the upcoming elections while the country was in a state of emergency for the past ten months and any political activity was halted,” said Yeshiwas Assefa , Blue party head.
“Though the landscape was challenging in the past ten months, we are preparing to use any possibility to voice our problems since we don’t have any possible means to challenge the current Ethiopian government other than election,” Yeshiwas responded to the concern by the diplomatic community in Ethiopia.
Similarly, the two parties stated that they are aiming to garner substantial vote in the upcoming Addis Ababa City Administration elections. Hence, the parties affirmed their commitment to the diplomatic community that they are working hard so as to change the trend of Ethiopia from bullet to that of ballot box.
“Though we are committed to bring change in Ethiopia through peaceful means, it’s obvious that the path is thorny. Due to the regime’s narrowing down of the political space, we have failed to provide our alternatives on human rights, federal system, land tenure system, foreign policy and free market to the public at large,” Yehiwas said.
Concerning the alliance the two Ethiopian opposition parties have forged, the leaders of the two parties sketched the overall activities undertaken by the two parties, so far. According to Yeshiwas, currently the two parties are working together on issues such as training, strengthening organizational affairs at regional, zonal and woreda levels, public relations and current political affairs, human rights as well as prisoners and the upcoming Addis Ababa City Administration elections.
Regarding the impact of the ten-month-long State of Emergency in Ethiopia on the political landscape of the country, the parties singled out their problems and briefed the diplomats. In this regard, the parties asserted that their activities dwindled and deteriorated due to the harassment and intimidation during the state of emergency that, in turn, weakened the peaceful struggle in Ethiopia.
According to Yeshiwas, AEUP and Blue Party have started working together from April 8, 2017.So far, the two parties have registered so many achievements, and will continue working together, with merger being the goal in the future.
Source: Ethiopian Reporter