July 5, 2009

To be honest, EDP had been enjoying a tremendous goodwill and sympathy from Tigrigna speaking Ethiopians from day one, but its trip to Mekele was a landmark in the memory of the party’s history and the people. What happened in the meeting hall is on the record and there is no need to repeat it. However, the experience of EDP delegates who travelled to Mekele was very touching and transformational.

We had a chance to listen to the experiences of some of the delegates who travelled to Mekele. The Mekele 2002 meeting happened against the backdrop of the 2001 arrest of EDP leadership. So, most of them were anxious when they took the flight to Mekele due to EPRDF’s political campaigns against the party,  the arrest of the party’s leadership in 2001 and the occasional branding of all opposition parties as anti-Tigreans.  But when the Ethiopian Airlines plane touched the ground in Mekele, the experience of the delegates was entirely different and transformational.

From a taxi driver that picked them from Airport to the hotel they stayed in, the restaurants and bars that they had visited, the leadership was made to feel welcomed. They were left amazed by the degree of affection and hospitality they enjoyed, most of the time without charge. As it was a landmark meeting to the people, it was also deeply touching to the party and its leadership. It is these small day to day contacts and the bigger shared vision that made the party to have faith in sense of justice and fairness of the Ethiopian people and stick to its core principle and sometimes pay the price. The party did not come to life with dogmatic adherence to foreign ideology, its library and resource material is the people feeling, desire, hopes and aspirations. It is these small but day to day understanding of the people feeling that made the party to make a clear distinction between the people and the political parties and to work hard to tackle broad generalisation and stereotyping or avoid the temptation of pigeonholing people according to class, religion, ethnicity or other factors.

Probably this is also the reason why the party has been seen differently from most other parties and enjoy a tremendous amount of trust and goodwill from a poor man in the street to the grandson of the king himself.  This is one thing that is often overlooked in many political debates and rhetoric. EDP did not only capture the attention of ordinary people in the street but also confidence of Ras Mengesha Seyoum. His Excellency Ras Mengesha Seyoum’s decision to merge EDU with EDP to create UEDP and become an honorary patron of UEDP is often overlooked, but for the young leadership this was a big vote of confidence and encouragement. 

These kind of big decisions and small feedbacks like that of Ato Mersea Kidane suggest that EDP has already captured the attention of the people in Tigray but it cannot take it for granted. It needs to work hard to listen attentively to the feeling, desire and aspiration of the people to be a partner in their struggle to create a better future for all.

In short I agree with Mersea’s article that there is a lot of goodwill and support for EDP in Tigray. In fact, in the last 3 years, there has been also sympathy and goodwill from the elite that has been traditionally supporters of EPRDF.  The sympathy was expressed in providing platforms for EDP’s version of the story to be heard, when the party becomes a victim of the old revolutionaries tactics of “Abeyot Ligwan Tebelalech” through defamation campaigns.

The good thing is that EDP as a party has survived the slaughter by the opposition parties. The experience is not lost at all. It made the party to reflect and assess itself and returns to its original values to tackle undemocratic practises not only from the people in power but also in the opposition and the wider population. These are monumental task facing a young party but with renewed partnership with the public, we all believe it is achievable.

When EDP was struggling to keep its office open in Mekele and everywhere due to negative campaigns and lack of resource, members of EDP in Mekele have done everything possible to survive on shoestring and keep the candle burning.  Now there is no doubt EDP will head back to Mekele, not to lecture its visions and goals but to listen to the advices of the people as it did in Awassa and Addis Ababa.

Having said this, I have to stress that the only problem that is paralysing the party is lack of money. To have a meeting these days costs up to 30,000 and more. Meeting halls do not come cheap, broadcasting meeting time and venue over the Radio and TV costs an arm and leg. Transportation, hotel, printing materials are expensive. As everyone knows the Diaspora used to support EDP, but most of UEDP members have been swept away by the tide of rumour and we have to accept it as fact of life. Of course, the help also used to come with a string attached which finally led to the derailment of its core values.

The party is now more pragmatist than ever. It has to live by it means, while doing everything possible to weave the fabric of unity, democracy and bright future among the Ethiopians, day by day and brick by brick. To achieve this goal, going to Baherdar, Mekele and other regions and listening to what the people would say will set a new foundation for the partnership. Whatever problem the party may face, EDP will hopefully be in Mekele soon to listen and discuss issues that are relevant to individuals, groups and local or to the country.



Related: የኢዴፓ የመቀሌ ጉዞ (በመርስኤ ኪዳን)




  1. Dear Ato Mersea Kidan
    You really captured my heart. Whatever strong or weak the analogy you employed between EDP-medhin and the icon of the struggle M.G. Hayelom and his Agazi operation, what touches my heart is that we have an alternative to save and fully democratize this beautifully country. If he continues genuinely with the third way politics, no doubt, Lidetu will win the heart and mind of the majority of Ethiopians (save some of the politically blind Diasporas).The principles and the strategies you suggested to be followed by EDP –medhin are so relevant and necessary. If Lidetu wants to win the heart and the mind of Tigreans, he should recognize and respect the historical contribution of the people of Tigray to the Ethiopian politics and its sovereignty including the 17 years bitter struggle organized by TPLF to free Tigray and the whole Ethiopia from national oppression and military despotism. He needs also to clearly separate party politics from people. He should do the same vis-à-vis other nations. Please do you best to support such middle ground and rational politics in every corner. I am sure majority of the Diasporas will not support him since he changed his political philosophy from extremely emotional to balanced rational politics. Anyway thank you for your contribution.
    Best regards
    Solomon Gebreyohans (solomongg@rocketmail.com

  2. Ato Solomon, I think it is high time to make a clear distinction between EDP and Ato Lidetu. EDP is not a one man show as it is the case in other parties. EDP by no means equals Ato Lideto or vice versa.

    There are equally talented and far sighted young leaders in EDP other than Ato Lidetu. To magnify the role of Ato Lidetu at the expense of other young leaders in not only factually incorrect but also an insult to the other young EDP leaders.

    Having said this, i admit Ato Lidetu is one of the best minds at EDP but he is not the only one at all!!

  3. Yes, EDP is with out doubt an alternative to the Tigreans. Well it is only a question of time that TPLF will be gone at one time. When such a time comes, i think Tigreans will bank on EDP.

    Even better, Tigreans should support EDP before the eventual fall of TPLF just to make sure that they will not be left out.

    That is what i am advising my Tigreans friends and relatives.

  4. Well, we all know EDP and Lidetu are dead and buried by the Ethiopian people. They are no more or no less than history now. That is a fact.

    No amount of TPLF money, support and propaganda will mislead the Ethiopian people.

  5. አቶ/ወይዘሮ/ወይዘሪት ግንቦት 7 “የሞኝ ዘፈን ሁልጊዜ አበባዬ ሲባል ሰምተው ያውቃሉ”

  6. ግንቦቴዎች፣
    እናንተ ምን ጊዜም የእኛን የኢዴፓዎችን ሞቶ መቀበር ትመኛላችሁ። ለክፋቱ ደግሞ እኛ ልንሞትላችሁ አልቻልንም። እኛ የእናንተን ሞት ቀርቶ መጥፎ እንቅልፍ እንኳ አንመኝላችሁም። ስልጣን ሳትይዙ እንዲህ ሞታችንን የተመኛችሁ፤ “መብረቃዊ” በሆነው የትጥቅ ትግላችሁ ወያኔን አሸንፋችሁ አራት ኪሎ በሚገኘው የምኒልክ ቤተ-መንግስት ብትሰየሙ ምን ታድጉን ይሆን? የናንተና የእኛ ልዩነት ይኸው ነው። “እባብን ልቡን አይቶ እግር ነሳው” ይላል የአገሬ ሰው። ግንቦት 7 በውስጡ ድብቅ መሰሪ ተንኮል ቂም ይዞ የሚታገል በመሆኑ፤ ተአምር ካልተፈጠረ በስተቀር አሸናፊ ሊሆን እንደማይችል ለመናገር ነቢይ መሆንን የሚጠይቅ አይደለም – ከላይ “ግንቦት 7” የተባሉ ግለሰብ የጻፉትን አራት መስመር ጽሁፍ ያነበበ ሁሉ ይህንን መናገር አያቅተውም። ለማንናውም ቅን ልቡና ይስጣቸችሁ። የእኛን ሞቶ መቀበር ለማረጋገጥ በአዲስ አበባ፣ በሃዋሳና በባህር ዳር ከህዝብ ጋር ያደረግነውን ውጤታማ ስብሰባ ከሚለው ዌብሳይት ይመልከቱ እና በልብዎ “ሀሴትን” ይሙሉ። መቼም “ሞቶ ተቀበረ” የተባለ ፓርቲ እንደዚያ ዓይነት ስብሰባ ሊያደርግ አይችልም። ያን ሁሉ ህዝብ “ወያኔ ሰብስቦላችሁ ነው” እንደማትሉ እንገምት ይሆን?

    ፍቅሩ አየለ በላይ ከሸበል በረንታ

  7. ኢዴፓ ብዙ መጥፎ ነገር ሲወራበት የከረመ ፓርቲ ነው። ነገር ግን አሁን በግልፅ እንደሚታየው ያለው የሕዝብ ድጋፍ የሚናቅ እንዳልሆነ እያስመሰከረ ነው። በኢዴፓ ላይ ምንም ይሁን ምን ይባል የሶስቱም ከተሞች ስብሰባ (አዲስ አበባ፣ሃዋሳና ባሕርዳር) የሚያረጋግጠው ነገር ቢኖር ሕዝቡ ፓርቲውን ማዳመጥና መጠየቅ የሚፈልጋቸው ጉዳዮች እንዳሉት ያሳያል። ይሕ በጣም በጎ ነገር ነው በራሱ። ኢዴፓን የሚቃወሙ ተቃዋሚዎች ላለፉት አመታት ያደረጉት የማጥላላት ዘመቻ ከባድ መሆኑ ስለሚታወቅ ብዙዎች ሕዝቡ ከእነ አቶ ልደቱ ጋር እንደገና የሚነጋገር አይመስልም ነበር። ነገር ግን አሁን ከፎቶግራፎቹ እንደምናየው አዳራሾቹ እስከሚጣበቡ ተሰብሳቢው በብዛት ሲካፈልና ከስብሰባው በኋላም አቶ ልደቱን ይፈርሙልን የሚሉና አብረው ፎቶ ለመነሳት የሚሹ መሆናቸውን እያየን ነው። ስለሆነም የኢዴፓ ተቃዋሚዎች ሲደክሙበት የኖሩት የማስጠላት ስትራቴጂ አልያዘላቸውም። እንዲያውም በተገላቢጦሽ ሕዝቡ ፊቱን ወደ ኢዴፓ በማዞር ለሚቀናቀኑት ድርጅቶች ጀርባውን እየሰጠ ስለሚታይ ፓርቲው ተስፋው ለምልሟል ለማለት ያስደፍራል።

    ስለዚሕ በጀመረው የሦስተኛ አማራጭ ስልት ቢቀጥል ለፓርቲው መጠናከርና ለቆመላቸው ትግሎች መዳበር ጠቃሚው እንደሆነ ያስመሰከረ ሂደት ስለሆነ በሞራልና በሙሉ ልብ ሊራመድ የሚችል ይመስለኛል። ባጠቃላይ ድርጅቱ ዓላማውን በግልፅ የተረዳና በተጠና ስልት የሚንቀሳቀስ ዘመናዊ የፖለቲካ ኃይል ስለሆነ እንደተባለው የወደፊቱ ፓርቲ ነው የሚለው ይገልፀዋል። አሁን ለኢዴፓ የማስተላልፈው ሃሳብ ቢኖር ሕዝቡ የሚሰነዝረውን አንኳር ሃሳቦች ችላ እንዳይል ነው። ድርጅቶች ብዙ ጊዜ ‘የሕዝቡ ፍላጎት እንደዚህ ነው’ የሚል አባባል ይጠቀማሉ። ግን በትክክል በእዲህ ያለ ስብሰባ ወቅት የሚጠናቀሩ አስተያየቶች ዋጋ ያላቸው ናቸው። ባጠቃላይ ግን ኢዴፓ ከተደረገበት ክፉ ዘመቻ አገግሞ ተጠናክሮ በመውጣቱ የተሰማኝን ደስታ ለመግለፅ እፈልጋለሁ። ትንሽ ሳንቲምም ለማዋጣት ቃል እገባለሁ። ጭቆናና አፈና ባለበት አገር እንደዚሕ ሕዝብን አሰባስቦ ስለተሻለ ሥርዓት አስፈላጊነትና ትግል ማነጋገር የሚያሸልም ተግባር ነው በውነት። እኛ እዚሕ ተቀምጠን ለመተቸት ቀላል ነው። እንደኔ ‘አበጀሕ’ የምትሉ ኢትዮጵያዊያንም ለፓርቲው ቀጣይ ጥረቶች የሚቻላችሁን ጣል ጣል ብታደርጉ በነገው ውጤት አብረን እንደሰት ይሆናል። ለጦርነት ለተነሱ ድርጅቶች ብቻ ሳይሆን ሰላማዊ ትግል የሚያደርጉትም ያለ ገንዘብ ውጤት ሊያሳዩ አይችሉምና እንርዳቸው። በውጪ ያለነው ዜጎች በአገር ቤት ከሚኖሩት የተሻለ አቅም ስላለን የመተባበር ሃላፊነት አለብን ።


  8. I am not agree with both of you.EDP is not alternative for tigreans, if we need we can make a party other than T.P.L.F.

  9. No way. In fact, the program of EDP sounds good. But it can never be a substitute for our TPLF/EPRDF.
    TPLF to death

  10. I appreciate EDPs leaders and members who break all hearsays and come up with new ideas . The other oppositions who are full of hate and focusing on defamation of parties who did and doing their best to better Ethiopia should learn from their mistake. ”Leba enat lijwan atamnim” .They should ask themselves what they are doing. When they are asked for discussion they refuse and then they are asking for discussion.
    Now they are saying that they didn’t want to take part in the coming election, believe me they will ask pardon and beg to participate in the coming election at the end of the registration day. That is why EDP didn’t want to merge with such plan less un wise ”politicians ”.
    EDP is the only alternative to future Ethiopia.
    Dear EDPs keep on doing your Job. You have support from the silent majority and those who keep opposing you are losers who didn’t want to accept the fact and the reality..Shame on them . It is simply ‘’Kaferku ayimelseng’’
    Ethiopian people are more wise than few useless supports from Diaspora who brought nothing for the last 30-40 years..

Comments are closed