Open letter to the leaderships of CUD and UEDF
Your proposal for a viable National Unity Government is based on the three assumptions that you listed on page three of your proposal:
You have without any equivocation asserted that the three groups, CUD, UEDF, and EPRDF share those assumptions. The empirical reality of EPRDF's governance, however, since it assumed power fourteen years ago, betrays your assumptions. It is unfortunate that you dared to witness and give testimony to a group that adopted democracy as it was marching towards Addis Ababa only to assuage and mollify the international community. The TPLF, the main group of the EPRDF was and still is composed of Stalinists that used to idealize the Albanian communists. The prime minister, the leading theoretician and guru of the group is not only a born Machiavellian but also one who has perfected it and adapted it to the Ethiopian situation. In this he is akin to Lenin who adapted Marxism to the condition of feudal Russia, and hence Marxism-Leninism, so also Meles with Machiavllianism to Ethiopia's situation and therefore Machiavellianism-Melesism.
For Machiavelli, as he advised the Prince, and for all dictators since, power has been the essence of politics. It is defined as the ability to influence the behavior of others and obtain their obedience. And in this connection violence, manipulation/cares are at the disposal of the dictator. Machiavelli believed that human beings could be influenced because they are self centered by their nature. Hence depending upon the situation, the dictator could influence their behavior by threatening to destroy them and or caressing and manipulating them. Caressing includes "giving gift" or "granting favors" with the objective of making them dependent upon the dictator . Now, let us review the record of the TPLF led government of the last fifteen years.
The TPLF led government
Now is this the group that you want to vouch for as having good intentions for Ethiopia and its people? Do you really believe you can give this group uncritical support and testimony? The Ethiopian people voted for you because they thought you were principled individuals who would not succumb to terror and threat. In my recent article entitled A Critical Analysis of Post Election political Situation in Ethiopia I questioned the wisdom of "negotiating" with the government and entrusting the counting of the vote to the Ethiopian National Election Board which was established by the EPRDF government. Now you are complaining that the Board has not been impartial. Isn't this Board about to declare that the EPRDF has won the most seat that will enable it to form a government. Isn't this what the EPRDF echoing ? Doesn't this debunk your proposal for a coalition government? Where in the history of coalition government have you seen or learnt a coalition government established by the good will of a winning party.
My take of the whole thing is that the current Ethiopian political conditions are ripe for a democratic revolution and or transformation. All of the objective conditions are fulfilled. We are at the juncture where the government cannot rule the old way and that the people are refusing to be ruled in the old way. Most importantly we are at the juncture where the international community is steadfastly supporting and encouraging people who are suffering under tyranny and dictatorship to stand up for their rights. All that is lacking is the subjective condition. And that is a committed, dedicated and principled party that will lead the people to liberation. History has burdened you with this responsibility. Do not let the people down.
You will be letting down not only Ethiopia but the whole of Africa who are curiously and anxiously awaiting the outcome of your struggle. It is no time for vacillation or appeasement. I have said it before and I will say it again. The only way the Ethiopian people could be empowered is by holding another election. Power belongs to the people. Only the people are sovereign. Power will be legitimate only when the people vote for the party they think will work for them. Both Mr. Hailu Shawel and Mr. Meles have accepted and given their word to Hard Talk, BBC, that holding another election is one of the means to ending the impasse. Why are you afraid to call for this?
Solomon Terfa ( Ph.D)
Associate Professor of Political Science
Mississippi Valley State University