Election Boycott by Angry Old Men
Ben D   Oct 12, 2009
 
The idea that extremism takes hold in groups that feel their "status" is threatened by new groups on the rise in society is nothing new. The coalition of birthers and haters in America disparage Mr. Obama and decry we can’t be lead by him, they claim he is a Kenyan, a Muslim and even go as far as re-editing the King James version of the bible, to reflect dooms day for America, because young Obama has a new vision a different one, for America. Similarly, the old guard in the Ethiopian opposition is calming final destruction of Ethiopia if they cannot get to power. We can only suggest that the victims of such status anguish should be doing a better job accepting their new situations.
 
 It will be understandable if their anger comes from their inability to get to power and fight the poverty scrooge in Ethiopia. But no, no these old men rather fight against young bright and upcoming opposition politicians’ leaders such as Lidetu Ayalew and their own young new members who joined them with new vision and hope. Some even have the audacity to publicly claim that a woman, let alone a younger one than them cannot lead their party. No one seems to know their plan for the future of the country or is it because the mail has not arrived from Europe and America on the new and improved plan.
 
Since the last election, this bunch has been fighting with each other. For example, Merrara Gudina’s party was split in half and he now has a party that cannot even fill a small Motel bedroom for the party general meetings. Bulcha Demeksa’s OFDN, the same thing, actually his elected members in parliament has abandoned the people they were supposed to represent and showed up on Eritrean TV in Asmara. UDJ the orphan child of old CUD, could not even sit and talk with its old comrades even at the behest of its western Embassy masters has now officially fired half of its leadership and founding members. The Arena party that tries to convince us elections are about getting Aseb Port could not even manage its former comrade Seye Abreha to join its party let alone galvanize the people of Tigray. The ever alliance builder Beyene Petros, who thinks coalition building is just like playing with a Lego has created four coalition party’s since 1993 and have all self destructed since.
 
It was a smart move by Petros to form a new alliance, to bring all this small groups and individuals together, which would have otherwise become irrelevant. But it is not enough to imitate the ruling Party by organizing their new party with different ethnic collation and appear big, with a very insignificant support from the population they claim to represent. They have not done a simple homework. The reason, since the last election, they have been building and developing relationships with non-voter constituency at western Embassies and a few vocal Diaspora hate mongers. No one has seen them campaigning or asking support from Ethiopian voters, but sting in cafes and scheming grudgingly.
 
Even worse, they now resemble and remind you of privet club for grumpy old men, with big personalities such as a former this and that with no fiefdoms their own. This is not a denigration of old people by any means; it is in appreciation of the wisdom of our elders. As the election got close, they have read the writing on the wall. The wise men have doubts of their electability. You can only get what you saw. They have finally boycotted the election and gone to their constituency   and sent a press release that said:  “Members of the alliance called on Western countries to pressure Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front by threatening to withhold foreign aid.” “We appeal to the international community that what we want is a fair game,” said Merara Gudina, chairman of the FDD.  
 
Are these our leaders? Who call on a sanction on their own people and country? As far as we know even those, who pandered for Mussolini did not make it to Minilik Palace. Wonder what will happen if elected to govern a country and disagree with each other, as they usually do. Will one of them go out order a sanction from the west? Most people know this bunch will never lead Ethiopia and will amount to nothing if they continue with such disregard for Ethiopians. However, I am tickled knowing most of them may not even make it to the next election.

I cannot resist bringing up another press release, by a non-party party,  Ginbot 7 the armed group, which in the same week coincidentally released a call for boycotting the election from its hiding place at the Macdonald Restaurant on Colombia road in DC or Asmara. It said:  “The International Crisis Group (ICG) warned the International community that governance problems in Ethiopia are much more serious than previously acknowledged. The TPLF regime must accept pre-conditions… “The international community ignores the dire warnings of the ICG and disregards the demand of the opposition parties; the 2010 election will be nothing more than a recipe for national disaster.” Says the press release, but it still did not clarify or elaborate if the ICG was mad about the seven ethnic parties led by Merara Gudina’s (MEDREK) or the Ruling ethnic party (EPRDF). As a non-party and a person not even allowed flying over Ethiopian air space, Nega should not have bothered to release this, unless it is a message from his boss President Issayas who vowed to unite us all Ethiopians and get us of this international community crap as he did with Eritrea.
 
Ultimately, the question is, if these folks really think that some white men will bring them to power in Ethiopia or they just want chaos and finally want to create their little fiefdoms like the Taliban in Afghanistan or the Somali clans. May be we should turn them to an NGO with its own newspaper so that they think they are a de-facto government.
 
For now though, I am thankful to the former CUD, which in its internal rancor and spite  after the 2005 election,  has managed to give birth to five parties, so I have the many choices to select, and vote,  if I do not like the ruling party.