Joe Michael – 25 Sept. 2008 — No matter how strong EPRDF is getting, it still lacks confidence when it comes to giving opportunity to its opponents. The ruling party, which is consisting of four ethnic based political parties, has been reportedly growing in organizational and financial resources. However, the apparent fact behind EPRDF’s advancement is that while it is growing and continually opening new offices through out the country, it has been closing opposition offices and has been denying them their rights to campaign freely.
In its seventh organizational congress that was held in Awassa, EPRDF declared that it has 4.5 million registered members. The party also stated that it has expanded its financial resourses and acknowledged that its assets have been augmented.
What ridicules such claim; however, is that EPRDF never wanted to see a strong opposition. Its perspective towards democracy remains unsighted that it dooms those with different political views as enemies.
Recently, the newly established UDJ opposition political party was facing serious difficulties to get its legal license. It is continually facing problems to assemble, to campaign, to get media access, etc. There are also many opposition parties who have suffered by EPRDF’s aggressive retribution post 2005 election. Furthermore, it is evidently proven that there are still remaining political prisoners, who were members of the former CUD party. The government media itself attested this fact by stating that the local mediators are working hard to have them released.
Regardless of the advancement EPRDF has declared, it is still afraid of competing with oppositions without intimidating and arresting them. Logically, it is paradoxical to propagate EPRDF’s growth while oppositions are forbidden to compete freely. It is awfully foolish for EPRDF members to be proud and claim that their political party is getting popular since opponents are getting beaten, intimidated, and kept in prison.
Opposition parties must be given equal opportunities to implement their political agendas. They should be able to campaign freely and must be allowed to have financial resources. What ever EPRDF is entitled for, the oppositions must be entitled too.