Thursday, May 27, 2010

What the EPRDF landslide victory means for Ethiopia

Barry Malone of Reuters Ethiopia, who quoted me in two of his recent stories on the Ethiopian elections, followed up with another question. In light of what appeared to be an imminent landslide victory for the EPRDF, Malone wondered, "What does it mean for the future of Ethiopia?"

Here's my response (sent on May 24), some of which appears in Malone's story, "Ethiopia's Meles on course for landslide election win":
I have not yet heard the results, but assuming a large EPRDF victory I would say the central issue for the future of Ethiopia is how the government over the next five years will allow for more political competition. Prime Minister Meles, in a May 20 interview with Al-Jazeera, stated without qualification that he will retire at the end of this term. He added that the old generation of the EPRDF will also retire. This will open the doors for competition both within the EPRDF and among its political opponents. It is essential that both supporters and opponents of the EPRDF take advantage of this situation in a constructive way to ensure that democracy makes serious progress in Ethiopia. If that happens, it could be the EPRDF's most important legacy. If it fails, it may relegate the EPRDF to the dust bin of history.
The quote also appears in a Reuters blog post by David Clarke, titled "Thousands celebrate Ethiopia election landslide win."


  1. I think the so called foreign experts are not series when they talk about democracy in Ethiopia. If they did they will not miss the obvious. EPRDF and Melese have no intention of bringing democracy in Ethiopia. The just go through the motion so they continue receiving foreign aid. The west is all to happy to get a perfect cover for funding a brutual government that is serving their interest. What is clear is the west the US and its allies are not interested in democracy but their interest. The tiring and irritating thing is they always talk about democracy. I wish they come openly and acknowledge that. We Ethiopians for that matter people of the developing nation know exactly what the West is interested in. That has nothing to do with democracy

  2. For the west democracy is convinient stick used to whack leaders they don't like. All that do their bidding get a free pass