Ethiopia: EDP’s Spectacular Comeback

edp Meeting in Addis Ababa
May 21, 2009

Kinijit was instrumental to pull together the two main party’s resources and successfully mobilized the Ethiopian people behind it.

While AEUP and UEDP-Medhin were the two largest parties which shouldered almost all the fantastic works of Kinijit all across Ethiopia, Kestedemena and EDL played largely a symbolic role in Addis Ababa.

Although the Ethiopian people’s election victory was short lived mainly as a result of untimely and unnecessary power struggle with in the leadership, Kinijit made history by demystifying EPRDF’s mystification of ethnicity. In short, to the delight of pan-Ethiopianists and dismay of secessionists, not only EPRDF but its ethnic-centered policy was defeated by the Ethiopian people through the ballot box.

To the horror of the Ethiopian people, what started as a bright coalition faced an insurmountable obstacle and started cracking at the leadership level when few in the leadership prematurely conspired to vigorously pursue to change the coalition into a complete merge of the four constituent parties primarily to put the two larger parties into total submission. At the time, because of the on-going animosities between AEUP and UEDP-Medhin, AEUP leadership failed to see this grand conspiracy at the time. UEDP-Medhin leadership did.

Fearing their conspiracy would be untimely aborted by the bright, smart and young leadership of UEDP-Medhin, those few in leadership of Kinijit who were relentlessly working hard behind the curtain to control Kinijit chose to ‘eliminate’ UEDP-Medhin swiftly and once and for all. Thus UEDP-Medhin party in general and its young leadership in particular became a victim of a well sustained and orchestrated campaign simply because it expressed its strategic difference with the then CUD and tried to stop the impending crisis which was unfolding.

Lidetu_autograph_signThis decision was considered as a political suicide by many political pundits and many predicted that EDP would not see the day light again if it disagrees with few of Kinjit’s leadership prescriptive political strategy. Now looking from the benefit of hindsight, the decision that was taken by the party not to succumb into the spinned crowd mentality by standing firm to its belief against all odds, was not only right but also a far sighted strategy that saved the party, the struggle for better days. Credit to the principled stand of EDP, we have now witnessed the residence of Addis Ababa flocking to the meeting hall at ELPA to endorse the big price the party had paid.

EDP now as a party stands on its own feet. The hard work, patience and belief in sense of justice of the Ethiopian people is paying dividend.
This is also a big blow to short term political strategy of the Ethiopian leftist revolutionary culture. The party has now broken out of the traditional Ethiopian leftist political culture to advocate the third way and liberal democratic policies.

From its inception, EDP was unique in many ways from the other parties. After being disillusioned by the ineffectiveness of the opposition parties, when the young leaders of EDP chose to form their own party as they think fit, nobody wanted to take them seriously. EDP was written off from the beginning.

When EDP advocated the importance of a multi ethnic party when at the time forming parties based on ethnicity was an escapable trend, some laughed at EDP. Not only that, when EDP made passionately a case for peaceful struggle as the only means of braking the vicious cycle of violence in a country where gun is worshiped, it was branded as political naivety by some.

However, after a short period of its formation, when EDP started rallying many people behind the party by advocating peaceful struggle and multi nationalism, many parties started copying EDP. Hence, EDP was taken seriously through hard work, patience and farsightedness. Put simply, EDP led and others followed. The premature underestimation of EDP effectively stopped.

That was then. Even now, there are lots of things that the Ethiopian opposition forces need to learn from the success of EDP. First, short term political opportunism, alliance and chasing the populist view have not delivered any victory in the last 40 years and it will not. Second, there are times one has to pay price for one’s principle it stands for but eventually it is one’s own conviction that provides strength, not populist inducement. Third, life is not black and white, enemy or friends, victory or defeat. This extreme and polarised political culture has been the source of suffering and a cause of senseless death of many thousands in the last 40 years.

It is time that all involved in the last 40 years stop and adopt a rational and pragmatic political strategy to reduce the agony and unnecessary scarifies of the Ethiopian people. The drive needs to be the creation of a better future and not the liquidation of people who
Happen to disagree with us.

We have to remember that nothing has been solved and it is time to call it a day for such senseless and ego driven political culture. It may unfortunately take some time but the Ethiopian people, see, listen and make judgment. That is why we are witnessing once again the people of Addis Ababa flocking to the ELPA meeting hall to show their support to EDP. As usual, EDP has shown the way forward. We expect others to follow as before. This is what we call farsighted and pragmatic politics.

  • Speech by Lidetu Ayalew, President of Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP) pdf file

23 comments on “Ethiopia: EDP’s Spectacular Comeback

  1. I am excited and happy for EDP and Lidetu. They indeed paid the price but eventually with God’s help they survived. Back again EDP will lead the Ethiopian people. So refreshing and I can feel it in the air. Viva EDP.

  2. It is true that EDP will be the future party of Ethiopia
    Nice to hear that ,truth never been hide for ever and I am witnessing it through EDP’s come back after all false accusation and black mailing
    good work EDP

  3. At time I feel too hopeles of the Ethiopian politics, ‘cos it seems to be diriven av emotion, gruge and hearsay. But then there are few like this men of wisdom who make differences just by pick their pen. This article just restored my faith that Ethiopia not only will recapture it glorious past but it will also be africa’s example of geniune change.

    Thump up for EDP and its leaders!!!

  4. It is undeniable that EDP’s leaders played crucial roles in the build up of the stremgth of the opposition parties. It was undeniable that the leaders of EDP challenged TPLF amd played significant roles to boost the confidence of the party leaders and that of the population. Like any other political party, EDP had succumed to political pitfall that it saw or did not see and was misguided by the turbulant situation of the new opposition united forces. No need to go back and blame any party or its leaders. The lessons are learned, and recognizing that the road ahead is much longer than the road behind, we should welcome and encourage EDP and its leaders to take roles that will make us forget the past and memorialize the deeds that serve the future and let us see them start this journey fresh with good spirit of cooperation with the leaders of other mainstream political parties.


  5. EDP is not only party of the future, but also hero of the new generation. Betuuuuuuuuuuuu, nice come back!

  6. The past 30 plus years Ethiopians have been let down by each and every political party that came to the surface. I hope this time it is for real. Ethiopians are tired of being betrayed and let down after sacrificing so much human life as well as financial. Please learn from past political parties mistakes. We cannot afford the loss of a single young man/woman any more.

    God bless Ethiopia.

  7. EDP is my second choice. Of course, my first choice is EPRDF. It is reassuring to know EDP is doing fine. At least supporters of EPRDF like me will not think the worst if EDP takes over.Congratulations EDP!!

  8. What would people who used to say EDP is dead and buried feel now? Accept the fact or put themselves in pointless perpetual denial!!

    To those people i say the truth is begining to prevail.

  9. I am not going to be fooled by your propaganda. I am positive that the hall was packed with EPRDF cadres.

    There is no future for EDP and Ledetu in Ethiopia. As simple as that.

  10. I support AEUP and i am well aware of the previous animosity between AEUP and EDP. I have many reservations on EDP and its leader Lidetu. However, i can tolerate EDP and Lidetu but i can not tolerate Ginbot 7 and Dr Birhanu. If only people people know the truth, Dr Birhanu is worse than Lidetu.

  11. Well done EDP! You made us proud.

    Yes, EDP is the future party of Ethiopia. Well done the residents of Addis Ababa for being farsighted for supporting the future party of Ethiopia.

    I particularly encourage the youth to join EDP in mass as before and finsih the job of liberating Ethiopia.

  12. Congratulations to EDP and its brave and visionary leaders!! Even though the party and some of the key leaders have been subjected to a well orchestrated campaign of character assassination, they remained true to their principles. This is in contrast to some other party leaders who are devoid of their own principles, but rather try to lead only to get the attention of emotional supporters. EDP has laid the foundation for lasting peace and democracy in our nation. The process for complete freedom and democracy can be long and challenging, but there is no shortcut other than following what EDP is doing. The leaders of this vibrant party may or may not be alive to enjoy the fruits of their struggle, but there is no doubt in my mind that future generations will be beneficiaries of their selfless sacrifice and determination.


  13. I was very much impressed how a new political thinking has emerged in our country. “The third way” is really a new political culture which all of us individuals or any other political parties has to learn and develop. EDP isn’t only a political party for me it is also an institution that helps Ethiopians to develop a new political culture.

  14. Leaders of EDP have a long sightedness like statesmen in which so many sacrifices are needed to develop a long lasting democracy and continuity. I was one of those who admired Dr. Birhanu as a bright leader, especially during the last election the way he managed his campaign etcetera but now I have a different opinion about him in which his struggle is most probably for power. I am not a member of any political party but I wish to see a free and democratic election in the coming year.

  15. It is good Selam that you have mentioned the next election. I think EDP has proved to be the best candidate to bring about a genuine democratic change to our country. However, there is no doubt that the smear campaigns of the last couple of years against the party has damaged its support and source of income. I was supporting Birhanu and some others from the Kinijit. I myself was one of the many who were shouting negative words at Uedp. I regrate it now for I had no much of the information I have now. I was not even interested to listen to what Lidetu had to say. We Ethiopians are sometimes very cruel towards our fellow Ethiopians. What I have learned through time is that we should not be hasty to conclude in politics without looking at closely the different sides.

    However, I feel now some hope in uedp (EDP). God knows the future. Any way, it is time now to turn our attention to this vibrant party to give it a practical support in terms of finance and the like. What ever srong ideas you have for your missions, an organization can not go far without money to spend. So let’s put some penny in their empty pot so that they can do something in the coming election. I don’t think they will use the money they collect from us for their personal benefits as many in the Diaspora do. I hope the party will be more strong after the next election.

  16. EDP-good leadership, patient,good planing,good strategy,above all EDP resist all the odds against the party. I am hopping this party to become people choice party and bring genuine change with in the country once and for all.EDP has long way to proof itself.I am wishing Ethiopian people and EDP to have successful future.
    Job well done-EDP

  17. As we know, the garbbage that has covered lumps of truth was donudated in 2006,by the time when Ethiopia declare war against extremistis in Somalia. Starting from that historical day,I realy support EDP, TO BE THE FUTURE RULUNG PARTY IN ETHIOPIA.I WISH IT SUCCESS!

  18. Currently, in Ethiopia,after graduation, worship for EPRDF IS A CRITICAL SITUATION to get work. Merley,what you think about your nationality?

    So that, to get rid of such discripancy and to assure equal citizenship in Ethiopia,we have to take measures now; in my opinion—standby of EDP.

  19. My the almighty bless you my friends. I thought I would be one of the few who would genunly supportEDP. thank you for making me to revise my understanding on the level of ciuility of our peeople

  20. edp is the symbole of hope, unity, equality among ethiopian people and this plitical team does not have any hiden agenda.

    that is why most ethiopian people changed thier mind
    God beless EDP

Comments are closed