Ethiopia held an election in 2021 that ended in a landslide victory for the Prosperity Party (PP). Even though the prosperitarians are aiming for and practicing democracy, I hold that it is too early for this fair nation, whose politics have been mishandled throughout its history, to practice democracy.
The great and ancient people of Ethiopia have, for the first time in their history, chosen their own government in a free and fair election, Alemayehu G/Mariam writes. A professor of political science from California University, he asserted that Ethiopia is a democratic society rising on the ashes of its history of authoritarianism. According to him, Ethiopians are liberated from dictatorship and despotism and will march into an era of democracy and self-government.
Given the existing challenges of democracy, I believe that Ethiopia is not ready for democracy and needs to pass through a period of transition before we venture on the concept, as it leads us to become a place of chaos for various conflicting political interests, similar to neighboring Somalia. The country lacks the institutional set-up that would enable it to adequately consume the virtues of democracy. The ruling party is untimely rushing to democracy like its predecessor, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), from which it rejuvenated.
Ethiopia needs to take a breath before democracy, though the prosperitarians are committed to strengthening and applying a true federal system that recognizes the diversity and contribution of all Ethiopians.
This party, which is known to be a supporter of civic nationalism and committed to development, democracy, and justice, would successfully undertake the national responsibility of doing the job of leadership in the course of transiting Ethiopia, both in its politics and its democracy.
Undeniably, the PP has saved the nation from the brink of collapse, and all Ethiopian nationalities are represented with their major causes. It could be called the right answer to Ethiopia’s questions about balancing the conflicting interests of ethnic and national identity in its job of leadership.
There are also those who contend that it is the best political party in Ethiopia as measured from the perspectives of senior citizenship and organizational structure, representing the only viable political party that is able to handle power in this nation with problems both local and international.
In my opinion, this party is the best answer to the democratic question, and it has to continue governing the nation. The peaceful resolution of the war with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is a direct result of the party’s efforts. The premier, who has produced three books on his homegrown and pragmatic philosophy known as medemer, holds and practices it, which in simple terms means unity.
The party is undertaking the difficult job of uniting the divided nation. Currently, it is crafting a policy on transitional justice with a view to addressing the problems of complications in justice resulting from the mishandling of the political background.
The existing political problems are not ones for which the EPRDF or the Prosperity Party are to be indicted. The party is not the devil behind Ethiopia’s problems; rather, it is trying to fix long-overdue political problems. It continues to insure sustainable prosperity through inclusive social development on the basis of a foreign policy that maintains Ethiopia’s sovereignty.
Aljazeera reported that many Ethiopians appear to be pleased with the merger of the parties making up the EPRDF to form the PP, seeing it as an opportunity to unite the country and resolve its many deep-rooted problems. It is true that a pan-Ethiopian party run by individuals with significant public support and a wealth of experience has the unmatched potential to address pressing issues like escalating ethnic violence and polarization.
An inclusive society with a solid social contract that safeguards each person’s fundamental liberties and security is the foundation of Ethiopia’s prosperity, which is the result of conscious decisions to build a society that benefits everyone of every nationality. It is driven by an open economy that harnesses the ideas and talents of the people of a nation.
Thus, I would argue that this party shall handle the most essential political decision-making power during the current transition period.
(Tagel Getahun is a law expert. He can be reached at [email protected])
Contributed by Tagel Getahun