Predicting Winners and Losers in the June 2021 Poll in Somali Region of Ethiopia
Democracy is a numbers game. The “tyranny of numbers”, has become a curious point of contention in Ethiopia over the last decade. But much depends on how you present the concept. The “tyranny of numbers” is also “one man, one vote”: electoral democracy where all are equal and no-one’s vote is more important than any other’s. As long as that widely voting system is not rigged, victory comes with winning the support of most voting adults in Somali region.
So, to understand where the Somali region stands, we need to look at two key numbers: the number of population in each zone and their propensity to turn out for their favored candidates and to combine these with a model of voting preference amongst the people in those zones. And, like it or not, the majority of the people (probably two-thirds) can have their political alliances predicted with a high degree of confidence based on the candidates contesting for each party.
Applying this analysis at the Zonal and regional levels may give us a clue of which party will likely be winning the majority of candidates/members of parliament at the Somali regional level for the upcoming election.
We do believe that the Union of Independent Candidates (GILDHI) will wine and get the majorities of the candidates/MPs in the region and will be followed by the ONLF who will secure second majorities of MPs while PP and others may secure a few candidates because the people of SRS are already fed up of the current leaders representing Prosperity Party and if they continue to be the face of that party, then, with 95% certainty, we can say no hope for PP in the Somali region.
What are your thoughts on these predictions?
Ethiopia’s 2021 Elections: Is It A Copy-Paste of 2005?
An eerie feeling is in the air as a polarized country inches closer to June 2021 election. In 2005, Meles Zenawi’s EPRDF opened a small space for the opposition parties to campaign and compete in elections.
As election result trickled in, Zenawi and his TPLF panicked–humiliated by the performance of the opposition. Then, EPRDF resorted to extreme violence, voter intimidation, and rigging.
Within few days of the election, opposition parties swept aside EPRDF in major cities winning over 174 seats, sending EPRDF/TPLF into shock. To minimize the loss, EPRDF stole every rural vote by threatening voters and using food aid as a tool.
The election sparked violent protests leading to the unfortunate killing of 200 unarmed opposition supporters who felt their votes were stolen. The downfall of TPLF started with the 2005 election and never recovered. Zenawi unleashed terror and brutality against opposition leaders, the media, and journalists.
The more he resorted to violence, the more TPLF tightened the noose around its neck– embarking on a self-destruction journey.
By 2010, EPRDF and its allies had won all the 547 federal seats, eradicating all traces of opposition from parliament. Zenawi wasn’t happy with stealing and rigging the election.
In a pliable federal parliament, he passed anti-terror laws designed to eliminate opposition and critics but also charge them as terrorists. Zenawi sentenced some of his opposition critics to death.
Then, Zenawi himself was sentenced to death by an unknown ailment. And the once-mighty TPLF he left behind is no more– annihilated by its own past violent deeds. Zenawi is to blame.
Had Zenawi accepted the will of the Ethiopian people and allowed opposition MPs to take their seats in parliament in 2005, Ethiopia’s democratic institutions would have grown into a full multi-party system.
TPLF would have gained legitimacy and acceptance by a wide section of the Ethiopian public. Zenawi’s vindictive nature and oppressive tactics have come back to destroy the Tigray region and its innocent people.
Now, the prosperity Party ( PP) is exactly using Zenawi’s old violent tactics.
The detaining of Jawar Mohamed, Bekele Gerba, Eskinder Nega, and the putting of influential Oromo leaders under house arrest are all designed to rig the election and intimidate supporters of opposition parties. This will take Ethiopia back to 30 years.
Jawar, Bekele, and Eskindar are formidable forces and will humiliate Abiy’s PP in a free and fair election. So, they have to be arrested and charges cooked up, just as Zenawi did.
This is a tragedy unfolding and the scale of this tragedy will be clear in June 2021.
Elections are lost and won. Accepting opposition lawmakers to serve their constituency is fundamental for democratic accountability and contributes to long term stability in our governance system.
If oppression and silencing of opposing parties haven’t worked for Emperor Haile Selassie, Mengistu Haliemariam, and Melez Zenawi, nobody should believe it will work for Dr Abiy.
Dr Abiy will be stronger having Jawar facing him in a parliamentary debate on the future of Ethiopia.. Every day Jawar and influential opposition leaders remain in detention illegally, Ethiopia loses so much.
The world is already warning of impending FAMINE in Tigray, and the level of cruelty inflicted on innocent Tigrayan women and children is shocking.
Ethiopian politicians in power are poor in negotiating with their opponents. It’s all about annihilating your perceived enemy. This is why Ethiopia’s politics and power are marked by violence, wars, and famine.
The beauty of Jawar and Bekele lies in seeing them conduct political rallies and addressing the millions of adoring supports, not seeing them starve to death on a hunger strike.
– Kassim Haji Noor