Lidetu Says his Party is Ethiopia’s True Alternative

March 16, 2009


Lidetu Ayelew, chairman of the Ethiopian Democratic Party, said that because his party is a multi-ethnic organization it offers a clear policy difference with the ruling party and some of the ethnic-based opposition parties.

He talked to Tizita on the Amharic service’s Democracy in Action program on Thursday. Tune in to hear a two-part Call-in show with Lidetu, hosted by Tizita, at 9 p.m. Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 to hear listeners ask the controversial politician questions about his career, his politics and his party.

Lidetu says his party is an alternative to the practices of the government and the other opposition parties, which he characterizes as “non-compromising and fault-finding.” Some of his critics call the EDP “loyal opposition” because he credits the government of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front with positive accomplishments.

He was a co-founder in 2005 of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy, or Kinijit, but in the election then-United Ethiopian Democratic Party split with the coalition. He kept his seat as a member of the House of the People’s Representatives for the EUDP-Medhin while other opposition leaders went to prison.

Lidetu rose in politics as the leader of a small party called the Ethiopian Democratic Party in 1992. His party became EUPD and merged with the Medhin party. His book, Yearem Ersha, details the break-up of the collation and discusses 40 years of Ethiopian politics.

Party website