EMF Special report (By Hanna Sisay Kidani) – Medrek, the largest opposition coalition, has decided to participate in the upcoming elections, according to sources. The opposition coalition will leave the process only if it is forced out by the ruling TPLF regime.
The following report is extracted from the detail report made by Medrek. We have left some essential information for the safety of the party.
Visits in Amhara and Afar region:
The executive committee visited branch offices in Gondar, Bahirdar, Debremarqos, Dejen, Debrebirhan, Shoa Robit, Ataye and Hosaina in January to reorganize them. The Gondar situation did not improve. Thus Ato Andualem and Ato Asrat had to visit Gondar at the beginning of the second week of Yekatit. Things have changed in the positive since. The situation in Debrebrihan has not improved and we have to work intensively on Debrebirhan.
Three members of the executive committee; Dr. Hailu Araya, Ato Asrat Tase, Dr. Negaso and Athlete Tesema member of the national council of UDJ and coordinator of eastern Ketena were in Awash Fantale, Afar Region to meet with the executive committee and candidates of UDJ,s Branch in Afar last Tuesday. A popular and strong clan leader was present on the meeting. It was a very good and successful meeting. The cadres, administrators, security agents and the police of the ruling party were around and in the hotel where the meeting took place some even intruded our meeting to hear what we were talking about. We have strong members and supporters in five Woredas in Afar
It has to be noted that many members from other parties i.e. from AEUP have joined the UDJ since the signing of the code conduct. On the other hand, it has to be admitted that very few of our members have been disappointed because they were not allowed to be candidates for the election.
EPRDF’s campaign against Medrek:
The EPRDF has already declared the Medrek as enemy and as member of the Front of Destructive Forces led by Shabia. EPRDF has been campaigning against Medrek through the public media and on meetings and using all kinds of tricks to discredit Medrek in the eyes of the public. But Medrek/UDJ will not be provoked. It will stay in the process to the end peacefully and respecting the laws of the country.
The result of the negotiation is roughly as follows.
Medrek will have about 485 candidates in 547 constituencies. 231 candidates are from UDJ. UDJ will compete in Amhara=110, South=70, Oromia=25, Afar=5, Gambella=2, Asosa=2, Harar=1, addis Ababa=15, Tigray=1. OPC has 120 candidates while OFDM has 30. South coalition and ESDP #Beyene# together have 55 candidates. Arana Tigray has 30 while EDUM has 20. These are all for seats in the Federal House of Peoples representatives. Medrek as a whole is forwarding about 1,745 candidates to compete for seats in the regional parliaments. UDJ/medrek is not forwarding candidates in Somali Region now as the election in this region will not take place in may. Regional elections in Addis Ababa and Diredawa will take place after two years. Registration of candidates was over on Monday.
The difficulties which Medrek/UDJ faced from the election administration and the ruling party during registration will be compiled and made public.
Medrek/UDJ has started election campaign. It has participated on media debate and will continue to do so using any opportunity to introduce itself to the public.
Media advertisement has also started. Last Saturday we drove through out Addis Ababa in two teams from 3pm to 7pm calling on the people to register as voters on Sunday and Monday. We introduced the symbol of Medrek, ye selaamtaa ijj, and also asked the public to demand for the release of Birtukan. We had big pictures of Birtukan on the cars. I was among the team which travelled from Bambis to Arat Kilo, Fransay, Sidist Kilo, Giorgis, Semen Mazagajja, Giorgis, Abuna Petros, Markato, Xor Hailoch, 3 Mazoria, Bisrate Gabriel, Mekanisa, Mexico and Stadium. It was real good and almost a wonder. The people tramped on each other trying to get the leaflets which we threw to them in thousands. They came to our car to shake and kiss our hands and waving our election symbol and sending love kisses from a far.
A public meeting to introduce Medrek and its candidates in Addis took place last Sunday in the Hall of Dil Ber School in Semen Mazagaja. About 500 people participated on the meeting. The discussion was good. Only one person tried to disturb the meeting but he was whistled out from the hall. He showed the symbol of AEUP while getting out of the hall.
Similar public meeting will take place tomorrow in the Hall of Addis Ketema School, Markato. Such kind of meeting will be held in the 23 Woredas of Addis on the weekends of the next two months. The candidates will also organize similar meetings in their constituencies. Medrek is also planning to hold public meetings, rallies and demos.
The 23 candidates in Addis Ababa have founded a council to coordinate the election activities with a command centre. Similar structures will be created at the Medrek and Qetena Levels.
The general assembly of Medrek is going to take place next Sunday and UDJ has chosen seven members who will be its representatives in Medrek for the next four months.