Ethiopia Ruling Coalition to Shake Up Decision-Making Structures

2019-10-19 08:57:10

(Bloomberg) — Ethiopia’s ruling coalition plans to overhaul of its decision-making structures and to tear-up its ideology of three decades, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s part of the alliance said.

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, which has Marxist-Leninist roots, is a former rebel movement made up of four ethnically-based regional parties — including Abiy’s Oromo Democratic Party — and five affiliated regional parties.

The ODP announced the plans Friday to restructure the coalition and replace the EPRDF’s ideology of “revolutionary democracy,” which it branded divisive and “undemocratic.”

The move comes as the ruling coalition gears up for elections scheduled for next year, in which the EPRDF’s constituent branches must compete with opposition parties amid a political opening up.

“Revolutionary Democracy”

The EPRDF has promoted the “revolutionary democracy” since it toppled a military junta in 1991 and during ascendancy of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front within the alliance. While the TPLF rules Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, which consists of 6.1% of the population, the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups make up almost two-thirds of the population.

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The push to overhaul the coalition’s structure is a means to increase the representation for Oromo and Amhara within EPRDF executive organs, giving them greater sway ahead of the elections, according to Ermias Tesfaye, an independent consultant in Burayu, Oromia state.

The existing decision-making structure “allows a small group to make decisions” over Ethiopia’s complex ethnically-based federation and is “not compatible with the current state of the struggle,” the ODP said.

A rushed restructuring of the EPRDF would send the country into chaos, the TPLF said in an Oct. 15 statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nizar Manek in Nairobi at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Malingha at, Helen Nyambura

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©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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