Ethiopia: RE "Challenges of Democracy and Andinet Party May 2014"


Comment on "Ethiopia: Challenges of Democracy and Andinet Party May 2014"


Aiga I am a still a strong supporter of EPRDF though they have made a couple of VERY serious missteps on economic policy execution(not policy) since PM Meles passed away that really needs to be corrected urgently.  I will get back to this important issue in the future;  I will email you in detail about it at future date. But for today I want to comment on your imagecomment on Andinet Party demonstration. I believe your comment is very wrongheaded and counterproductive for Ethiopia's development whether politically or economically. You should fully know Engineer Gizachew is trying to turn Andinet Party into a responsible party devoid of hate since you posted his radio interview on your own website few weeks ago.


If you remember, he clearly said we should stop hate politics and focus on issue politics. And this responsible, lawful demonstration is a good proof of that. As strong supporters of EPRDF and Ethiopia we should jump up and down with joy when we see such significant step forward towards responsible politics by any opposition political party. Such responsible opposition political activities or parties should be STRONGLY encouraged and given adequate media space not be labeled as hopeless old dogs who can't learn new tricks!! Such unfair response to a responsible political action will likely drive all opposition parties who try to be responsible to extremism;  it will also likely drive reasonable Ethiopians towards them due sympathies they will garner because of unfair or false labeling. If we knee jerkily and grotesquely mis-label oppositions as the same "old" hate politicians("up to no good" politicians, criminals, etc) even when they  earnestly try to change into responsible, issue politicians, it will only result in encouraging them to revert back to the same old hate politics or criminal activities out of sheer frustration. And that is NOT good for the country in any way.


The main reason the "new" Andinet Party and all the other responsible opposition parties who do NOT have Andinet Party's baggage are not getting big support from the Ethiopian people is not because Ethiopians believe they are same old "hate" politicians, or as you put it:  same "old dog[s] who can't be [thought]  new trick!" Nope, that is NOT! The main reason is because they all put forward the same economic governance ideology -- a neo-liberal ideology which prescribes no government involvement in the economy! The Ethiopian people are fully aware of this flawed position of theirs and have rejected it thoroughly and wisely as it's a disastrous for a developing country with relatively weak private sector! Plainly speaking they have rejected the idea the government should not build sugar factories and such to fill the vacuum of the private sector.


That is the main reason and they will never get huge support from the Ethiopian people as long they stick this position or EPRDF does not seriously falter on economic performance. Their lack of significant support is not because Ethiopians still believe they are all "hate" politicians. Some never where and Andinet is trying to transform into a responsible issue party! We should not try to win support of the people by mislabeling them as hate politicians when they are not carrying themselves in that manner. That will neither garner EPRDF support nor encourage opposition parties to become responsible, loyal opposition. We should instead give them credit on one hand for running responsible, issue oriented politics, but on the other hand point out their great folly in their economic policies. That is how we will effectively win the support of the Ethiopian people as well as encourage responsible opposition politics that greatly contributes to the stability and prosperity of our beloved country! So I strongly urge you to drop the mantra "you can't teach an old dog a new trick." That is neither true not helpful to Ethiopia's case. Give all credit who are trying to run responsible politics while pointing out their shortcomings on the issues.





Tisazu bekele


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