The Merger having collapsed, Let us now focus on what Matters most to the Democratic Transition
The fact that TPLF has stepped out of the EPP project has made matters easy for everyone.
Now, legally, the evolution (i.e., merger) of EPRDF parties into EPP has officially failed. The merger process has collapsed.
PM Abiy can now go ahead and form his new party as he is free to do that.
However, he can’t any more use the various organs of EPRDF to do that. Moreover, he cannot dissolve the parties that are members of the EPRDF coalition by mere fiat.
He is better advised not to disorient, dis-organize, and disempower the existing parties within, or outside EPRDF, just because they are not serving his personal-ideological purposes.
Also, he should desist from attempting to mobilize the membership, the resources, the money, the assets, and the offices of the existing parties in order to set up, establish, and consolidate his own new political party (called EPP).
If he disbands EPRDF altogether, that is bad for himself because, then, it means he disbands his own government, thereby leading to an immediate dissolution of Parliament and forcing him (and us) into an early election.
If he chooses otherwise, he has to reunite EPRDF and go into the May 2020 Election as EPRDF– if only to lose.
Now, it is time for Lemma, Mufriat, TPLF, and other dissidents to step up and use the EPRDF organs to redirect the trends and bring about the much needed sanity to the party, the government, and the country. It’s their task now to restore a semblance of legality, order, and stability within, and outside of, their parties and their government.
The ‘affiliate parties’ that have so far been mobilized to join EPP should be left alone to do the work of administering their regions without any undue influence by the PM, as they prepare the peoples of their regions for the May 2020 Election.
The PM should also refrain from agitating one member party against the other. There was eough blood letting already in this saga of power struggle within the inner core even beyond the contention over the merger.
The other member parties should re-examine their priorities as they consider engaging the PM, especially in the area of his polarizing speeches that spread intolerance, mistrust, hostility, and violence over the last one year and a half.
The parties that are not in government should press the incumbent not to invite a collapse of government, dissolution of Parliament, or power vacuum otherwise. They should also be ready to assemble a transitional government of sorts in the event that any of the above scenarios come to pass.
People ought to remain alert and should watch the developments carefully so that the prospect of transitting to democracy is irreversibly put back on track.
In the meantime, in the interest of peace, social harmony, and of keeping alive the hope of transitioning to democracy, EPRDF must act decisively to remove Abiy Ahmed from his position as a leader of the EPRDF and the Government.