Ethiopia: What matters is coming up with a genuine democratic system

September 11, 2018 Africa , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

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Alem Hailu G/Kristos



“Deferring schemes for a while, assuaging grudges and umbrage, let us first focus on the task of nation stabilizing with a cool head, let us reach a consensus through brainstorming. What matters most is ultimately ushering in a genuine democracy not gripping the rein of power. If the foundation is laid for a true election, complaints against the winner will have no room. The unsuccessful parties could prepare themselves for the next democratic election.”


This remark was made by Prof. Berhanu Nega, Chairman of Patroitic Ginbot 7, who, accompanied by his followers, came back home attracted by the wind of change that had blown across the country. He made this remark at a press conference he made at Bole International Airport addressing euphoric residents of Addis that flanked the roads of the capital the and Addis Ababa stadium, the Ethiopian tricolor flag hovering high, chanting slogans about democracy, peace, unity and development.


Paving ways for a democratic system and ensuring the strengthening of untrammeled participation of democratic institutions must constitute our cardinal task, he said, adding “We shall discuss with the government political parties, civic organizations and people at every layer as to which option best fits the country at the end of the day.”


Mentioning the presence of parties organized under ethnic lines on one end and democratic citizenship on the other end, he said, creating platforms of discussion, it is possible to choose the course that leads the country to a better option—a vibrant democratic system.


Insofar as discussions are peaceful, it is not difficult to come up with parties that embrace the best democratic system that wins citizens’ credence, he stressed.


He added citizens must know that nursing a grudge, looking for amicable and peaceful ways of crystallizing democracy does not work. “Yet we are optimistic things will change. How to let Ethiopia circumvent challenges and set a foot on the road of democracy and progress must be what concerns us.”


Appreciating the change in the country, Prof. Berhanu noted proponents of change like Dr. Abiy have played quite a role in leveling the ground, igniting feelings of reconciliation, mollifying citizens’ plight and bringing citizens here and abroad together for discussion. People have to be grateful, beyond political rhetoric, the reformed government has set the ball rolling.


Hinting about ways forward Prof. Berhanu capitalized “If there are parties that do not have conspicuous ideological differences, they have to amalgamate.” According to him, if there are 1,001 public political questions, citizens must not set up 1,001 political parties. They have to create coalitions having wider tents. “Now, we have a country that has shaken hands with itself as well as citizens that are trying to put gruesome experiences behind their back. It is better to create one political community,” he added.


“Yet this doesn’t mean there are not people who do not make a frantic bid to slacken the wind of change. Magnifying peace and reinforcing the democratic system must be the task of all. A democratic system is our goal. There is a lot to be desired. This is not a task to be left to the EPRDF or the premier alone. It is the task of all.


He wrapped up “Getting back home our members abroad have a plan to join the fight against poverty. We hope they will come back here under the framework of one Ethiopia, sitting round a horse shoe table we have to answer the questions citizens pose. Without burying the hatchet we could not build a democracy, we have to work towards national unity and true democracy. We have to be cautious. We have also to comb out the corrupt that divest the country of a spine.”


It is to be learnt, his Party had picked arms to topple the corrupt and undemocratic government in power.


Ethiopia welcomes its new year on 11 September 2018. The overlapping of the two events has lent the vibe an electrifying mood.





Alem Hailu G/Kristos

A published poet, novelist, editor, translator of masterpieces, literary critic, playwright and journalist from Ethiopia. M.A holder in literature, Addis Ababa University.

Looking for a traditional publisher of a collection of poems. My novel: ‘Hope from the debris of hopelessness’.

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