In his latest meeting with the leaders of different opposition political parties on Wednesday, 29th of July, 2020, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) defended the measures taken by his administration following the death of popular singer and political activist Hachalu Hundesa on basis of restoring law and order across the country; and downplayed the claims that the measures are taken to weaken the Opposition.
The discussion was held in a hall inside the Office of the Prime Minister, in the presence of seasoned members of the opposition such as Merera Gudina (PhD), Beyene Petros (Prof.), Aregawi Berhe (PhD) and others. During the discussion, many of them raised questions in relation to the recent political unrest in the country and the detention of a number of politicians.
Accordingly, the leaders of the opposition political parties, whose members are currently detained, raised some concerns about the matter and requested the PM to intervene. However, the PM countered saying the ongoing measures should not be considered as targeting and weakening the opposition political parties. “This is an effort by the government to restore law and order; it is in no way targeting a certain group or individual. In fact, so many members of the regional government and the ruling party are also subject to detention”.
While arguing the motive of the recent detentions was to restore law and order, the PM also cautioned all political parties, aspiring to assume political power, to abide by the rules of the game and the law of the land.
Regarding the regional election planned by the Tigrai Regional State, the PM assured the parties that the federal government has no intention to take an armed measure, “although there are clear provocations”. “Some people expect the federal government to respond forcefully, there are constitutional processes and institutions that are governing the country and as such these provisions will prevail overtime,” the PM underscored.
Apart from this, the PM and leaders of the opposition political parties have also discussed numerous issues of national interests such as the GERD, COVID-19 and peace and security.
Therefore, both parties agreed to continue discussion on different identified national issues in a platform that will bring political parties together, and also agreed the next discussion to be on national consensus.