for Ways to National Reconciliation.
election of May 2005 finally, and thankfully, is over. It has been
a long and torturous campaign. The winner will celebrate and the
loser will engage soul searching and dejection. The opposition
will have to huddle together and re-invent their party, which may
mean to be a viable opposition and legitimate representative of
the people. For the benefit of the country and the process of
democracy, lets hope the opposition party re-assesses themselves
and casts aside the bitter selfish feelings. If the opposition
wants to usher in a new era of democracy and peace they should
accept the final verdict. The wounds that have come from die-hard
opposition loyalists must begin to heal for the good of the
country. Nearly 26 million voters gathered to the polls (a record
number), yet neither long lines nor threat of thirst kept the
voters away from their appointed polling stations. The May 2005
Ethiopian democratic election has generated great international
interest and support, and is regarded as an important step in a
democratic institution. Ethiopia has steered clear of an election
Armageddon. However, the recent declaration not to enter
parliament from CUD Hailu Shawel in Washington, DC is reckless and
a grave disservice to the Ethiopian people.
embrace the election as a step towards democracy. While Ethiopia
has never known democracy, our thanks goes to the ruling party for
taking a leadership role on the road to democracy as a beckon of
hope. Ethiopia is witnessing the kind of transformation that the
U.S president would like to see happen in Africa.
It is encouraging to see these signs of new political life
blossoming in Ethiopia. As in any democratic institution, one
might expect a higher emphasis on policy to be the divisive factor
in the election. However, while EPRDF undertook to develop a unity
of purpose to confront the great challenge of our country, i.e.
poverty, employment, HIV/Aids and investment, some of the
opposition candidates must be moved away from bigotry, narrowness
of mind and a tone of chauvinistic rhetoric. Rational people who
can exercise common sense will come to agreement by progression
and truth, not by the extremistís caustic collection of lies.
However, lately the euphoria has satisfied neither the opposition
nor their allies in Diaspora. What could have been significant
democratic movement turned out to be a carnival of chauvinistic
and opportunist grab for power by any means.
media punditocracy in cyberspace and opportunists within Ethiopia
and in Diaspora are now in full gear and howled their indignation
at the result of the election. Their credibility and
trustworthiness, and lack of principal beneath empty rhetoric to
discredit the election are as dangerous as it is wrong. As we all
know well, the opposition campaign, which was often characterized
by narrow racial undertones, served well to alert voters. We have
broken the barriers of fear and silence in Ethiopia. Opposition
candidates were allowed to run and debate. Those of us who are
pleased with the election agree that it represented a step-by-step
movement forward towards greater democracy and pluralism. Such
gradual steps are the most logical way to proceed. The opposition
leadershipís split personality, symbolized by their chauvinistic
rhetoric and contradictory array of messages, reduced them for
more fragile discourse. This raises the concern whether Ethiopia
would establish a viable opposition where either the interest of
all Ethiopians comes first or the interest of few disgruntled
former officials instead.
young democracy faces acute dilemmas when confronted with acts of
violence, which damage government legitimacy because of the action
of a few former ex-officials who cause the loss of innocent lives.
The nature of that act is to intimidate a population and
legitimate government; the opposition must refrain from doing any
illegal acts. The parties advocating to overthrow a democratic
government is viewed as a crime, falling within the Ethiopian
criminal legal system. Tackling graveness with a valid legal
system is the right form. The use of violence to create fear and
undermining security must be dealt with decisively. EPRDF must
take steps to diffuse tensions and take incentives as a vehicle to
reconcile political differences. EPRDF must manage incidents, risk
and prevention in a proper manner, which upholds democratic
principles of rule of law. Some of the measures as a response, in
order to prevail law and order, may undermine or compromise
democracy in fragile stage of development. Thanks to the US State
Department, the Carter Center and donor countries that they have
appealed to the political leaders to brush aside their differences
and seek a solution for promoting peace.
and conflict between kings, ethnic groups and regions have marked
the Ethiopian history.
The best we can hope for is to reconcile and compromise our
conflicting personal or ethnic difference to allow us to continue
living in peace and harmony. All Ethiopians must agree over the
key problems facing the country, despite the differences of
ideology and nationality. EthioObserver editors look forward to
the complex challenges of achieving national harmony by
reconciling the differences that threaten to keep us apart. The
spirit of unity that was demonstrated during the Eritrean
invasion, where regional and political differences were forgotten,
must be repeated. Our response and commitment will determine the
very future of our country. The kindness of spirit that Ethiopians
are capable of showing in times of crisis and the sense of
compromise will prevail at last. This is truly a time of testing
for our democracy.
Berhe President of Tigray State
AU Official: Ethiopian Vote Free & Fair, Opposition Complaints
ወልፊ አይኮነን!! (Tigringa)
is not addiction)
electoral investigation well conducted: EU.
Given the constraints in
Ethiopia, the electoral board has done remarkable job in trying to bring
the process to a satisfactory end, said Clarke.
ABABA, 29 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - Ethiopia's political leaders have held their
first ever face-to-face talks aimed at ending the deepening crisis over
disputed legislative polls, an official said on Friday.
A Sobering Lesson: The Menilik Factor and the New Defeatism
"Alebabsew Biarsu Barem Yimelesu."
Tewodros II, Yohannes IV, Menilik II, and Myth of Colonialism
King Sahle Selassie, Emperor Menilik II, and the Betrayal of Ethiopia.
of Peace With Italy (1947), Evaluation, and Conclusion
Response To Modernization A Poisoned Chalice For Ethiopians.