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Parties on the campaign trail as war and ethnic tensions rock Ethiopia

June 8, 2021 0
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Wazema comparative assessment of the agendas of the various political parties available for download HERE

After repeated delays, Ethiopia’s sixth General Elections are scheduled to be held on June 21, 2021. The landmark poll comes against a backdrop of a raging war in the Tigray region and heightened ethnic polarization, instability and the COVID 19 pandemic in the country. The poll in the Tigray region is also postponed indefinitely due to the ongoing war.

Two major parties, the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), and longtime opposition and former rebel group, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which mainly represent Ethiopia’s largest Oromo ethnic group, are boycotting the regional and parliamentary elections, but the contest remains a significant step forward for Ethiopia and the legitimacy of Nobel Prize winner Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Abiy took power in April 2018 after three years of internal wrangling in the then ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which later merged into a single unified party and rebranded as the Prosperity Party. The elections will be the first real legitimacy test for Abiy and the Prosperity Party, since the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), one of the former members of the EPRDF coalition, refused to join the Prosperity Party. Abiy has however managed to add five more regional parties to the Prosperity Party, which were affiliate parties of the former EPRDF.

Several other opposition parties with divergent ideological leanings will also be competing for the June 21 local, regional and parliamentary votes. The contending formations are currently busy selling their manifestos, advocating, among others, constitutional amendment, a liberal economic policy and a review of the multi-ethnic federal system. The ownership and administration of Addis Ababa, the capital city, is also ranking high on the parties’ campaigns.

The independent media, Wazema Radio, has reviewed the political programs, election manifestos and the public pronouncements of the contending parties, with a view to helping the electorate and other stakeholders understand, particularly the stances of the contestant parties on some of the contentious issues in the political discourse. The review also serves as a reference for tracking the political trends in the parties.

This review has not attempted, nor is it intended to validate the conduct of the electoral process.

Find full PDF document HERE.

Team Wazema
Wazema Radio can be reached via email wazemaradio@gmail.com

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