A Front a far cry from democracy, people of Tigray
As the needle of Ethiopia’s political compass points in the direction of reform and change, comments and criticism on TPLF, which is one of the coalitions of EPRDF, is mounting. Arena Tigray and Tigray Democratic Coalition Party are among the opposition parties that point their fingers at the Front, reportedly, that failed to address the needs of the people of Tigray.
In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, Arena spokesman Amdom Gebre-Selassie said that a single political Front cannot represent the entire Tigrean people. This is specially true for a Front that has the propensity of protecting only the interest of the select few at the expense of the majority. He said, starting from the Emperor’s regime the people of Tigray have been paying lots of sacrifices for the birth of democracy. But, they have not quenched their thirst so far.
For instance, in a recent conference held in Mekle University, I was denied the right to express my point by a nonstop clapping. This is an untoward action by those who claim themselves patrons of the Front and democracy. It was paradoxical. I was about to expose filths of corruption that gush out every of the Front’s pores. I was to show TPLF is a far cry from people of Tigray. Also beating the drum of war does not sound plausible as the latter is still suffering from the trauma of war.
In this regard, Arena and the people of Tigray are always struggling for a peaceful political system that benefits all. He also said, warmongering and conflicts have never brought political stability. In this respect, the Federal government has to be precautions to wisely handle provocative actions. Bellicose temperaments from all sides must be checked. This also includes those that emanates from states. He said that all forms of hatred speech and political moves that targeted a particular ethnic group have to be halted.
effort towards democratization, Amdom said all the gratifying promises have to be translated into action. Regarding the upcoming election, as a way forward, Amdom stressed that the media and other institutions have to be free from bias and serve the people placing democracy at the kernel. Approached by The Ethiopian Herald, Political analyst and Historian, Associate Professor Abebaw Ayalew on his part said that Ethiopia’s political experience is bedraggled by preferential treatments for certain group of party members.
“We have witnessed political parties that devoted themselves solely to promoting the interest of their members at the expense of the public. This is not only the case of TPLF or other parties. It had been practiced in Ethiopia even in the remote past when individuals benefited not because of their intelligence but because of their ethnic background or some other lineage grounds.” This has resulted from lack of ground for democracy.
After all, democracy is all about providing opportunity for everyone. Regardless of their political affiliation people should serve their country based on their knowledge. In this regard, the cases of TPLF and other Fronts are good examples. We have witnessed that, before the reform, it is only members of the Front who had the upper hand in the political or economic positions. This is totally wrong in light of the push towards democratization.
People who are not members of a party or Front will be sidelined. They will be disadvantageous and suppressed. This is what happened on Tigrean people, who do not belong to the TPLF. They had fought to overthrow aristocratic and dictatorial regimes. Unfortunately, it is top members of TPLF and pro TPLF individuals who enjoyed the cream of the cake. Any party that assumed a political position has to represent the people, who had paid all the sacrifices in hard times. In this regard, we cannot say that TPLF did represent the people of Tigray.
Had it done so we could not have witnessed economic and political disparity among Tigrean people. Asked the way forward, Associate Professor Abebaw said that, there should be strong political Fronts that echo the interest of the repressed people. The old philosophy that only single party is the guardian of the people should be relegated to the limbo of history and suppression has to screech to a halt.
“There should be members of radical groups such as Amdom, who truly understand the life of the people. What is more, the people need to have alternative political Fronts that tune to their heartbeats.” Tigray Democratic Coalition Party, Chief, Dr. Aregawi Berhe on his part said, the people of Tigray had fought by the side of TPLF for democracy and equality.
Unfortunately however, it is only the interests of top Front members that is respected. The front has wiped out from its psyche the interest of the people, who sacrificed a lot on the altar of democracy. Asked about the PM,he said Dr. Abiy is basking under the political limelight riding popular support. His moves are heartwarming.
His democratic moves are being reflected in various ways. However, I harbor doubt that some quarters might have found that a hard pill to swallow.
The Ethiopian Herald, December 30/2018
BY LEULSEGED WORKU