On the merging of EPRDF’s constituent parties— is that thoughtful and timely?
Samuel Huntington’s two pieces of scholarly advise, in his paper of May 1993, for the late Meles Zenawi on pursuing the adventurous project of changing a multi-ethnic Empire State into a multi-national federalist republic were:
1- That in Ethiopia, western-style liberal and competitive multi-party democracy might be desirable but impossible/unachievable. Indicating that one-man’s dictatorship (like that of the Derg or emperor’s era) is an undesirable but possible scenario, he suggested a system of dominant-party democracy which he argued is desirable and also possible for Ethiopia.
2- That on the system of relevant political parties, drawing on the historical fact that it was the ethno-nationalist movements and mobilizations which deposed the highly centralized and militarily muscular govt in 1991, Professor Huntington argued that ethno-nationalist appeals are likely to be central to Ethiopia’s political parties, elections and the [national] politics in general. He underscored that attempts to suppress ethno-national identifications or to prevent ethno-national political appeals are not likely to be successful in Ethiopia. And ultimately, he ends up recommending that it will be the coalitions of ethno-nationalist political parties that can salvage the treacherous job of transforming the rudimentary Empire State into a modern republic.
I argue that the professor’s points still remain potently relevant after two decades of EPRDF’s/TPLF’s authoritarian rules. No?
I have never thought things will be this comical in my own life time! What a time in which to live!