From December 12 to 30, for the past 17 days, the Executive Committee of our party, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front, has been conducting immense and detailed evaluation of the country’s current situation. By reviewing the ongoing renewal process and its current status, as well as by indentifying the country’s old and current challenges with their detail manifestations, the Executive Committee discussed their causes and solutions, held a united stance and reached common consensus. By resolving the problems, it took hold of strong commitment and consensus to sustain the good outcomes that came about following our struggle up to date.
Dear peoples of our country
Though basic and hopeful progress have been registered in several aspects of life since our party started to govern our country in the path of change in 1991, it [the Executive Committee/party] understands that in recent times there come about various problems that challenge the ongoing change and pace of progress. On the one hand, because of the [development] outcomes that came about as a result of the fundamental and correct path that has been taken, the situation of our country is delightful. The Executive Committee has assessed that because of the mistakes we committed and new developments and demands that came about with our growth; our country has been confronted with serious problems.
As it is clear to our peoples, our country, which was moving in downward trajectory for long, has been progressing forward with honor. All citizens who love their country and the whole world believe and give testimony to this fact. The previous economic collapse ended and the economic growth of quarter a century has heralded that fact that Ethiopia is on the right path to realize its renaissance. In this time, it has been witnessed that our constitutional democracy has become the foundation for growth by ensuring/respecting individual and group rights. By accepting that multinationalism is the foundation and manifestation of our Ethiopia, our effort to manage this reality has testified that [Ethiopia] is a country of peace where all citizens live together with love and mutual respect. However, this appealing fact is facing challenges that there is a tendency and phenomenon that have become sources of worry for all our peoples. As a result, all peoples of our country seek with commitment to get the country out of the current problems it faces, to sustain and expand our success stories that are outcomes of our struggle, and to overcome our weaknesses and challenges. The government and our party, which are leading the process of change, have been seriously striving to give quick responses to the questions of the people.
The more than two week long EPRDF’s Executive Committee evaluation is based on the peoples’ genuine demands and positive national thinking and for this, the evaluation has been undertaken in a manner that enable to exert efforts to mobilize all of the party’s capacity for this cause. As a result, the meeting was concluded yesterday with a common consensus to protect and expand the success stories that are gained by the struggle of all the peoples of our country, and above all to get rid of dangers and source of worries that are outcomes of weakness in the leadership.
As per the evaluation EPRDF’s Executive Committee conducted over the past 17 days, it affirmed that absence of internal party democracy has been mounting at every level of the leadership, particularly among the top level leadership. This hinders and downgrades the platform for free idea exchange and hence it has been an obstacle to create unity in thoughts and actions among the leadership. The problem that occurred mainly in relation to the wrong view and abuse of authority not only has weakened the democratic principles within the party, but has also posed a threat to our journey to make sure that that authority is here only to serve the people.
As democratic tendencies diminish and opportunistic tendencies triumph, instead of pursuing the struggle in a transparent manner based on principles, strategies that relied on associations/connections than principles have become the order of the day. The Executive Committee has also acknowledged that such associations that are rather based on narrow group interests than principles have resulted in weakening EPRDF and its member parties. While developmental states are known for strong discipline, unity in thoughts and actions, group links that are based on unnecessary interests have become obstacles for our developmental state and party in accomplishing their missions with full capacity.
As per the evaluation of our Executive Committee, any group interaction or linkages that are not based on principles are dangerous for each national party and the respective people that they govern. Then, it will also endanger the common struggle and national change process which is led by the Front. Based on this, the Executive Committee has decided to assess deeply and get rid of any partnership that is not based on principles in any national party or state.
As it is known, the federal system that is being built in the country is the outcome of the age long struggles of the nations and nationalities of Ethiopia. What distinguishes the new Ethiopia from any multinational country is that it recognizes and respects diversity. The federal democratic system which has been built over the past 25 years has ensured equality in terms of language, culture and history. It enabled the nations and nationalities of Ethiopia to govern their own affairs. It also facilitated means for them to take part in the federal government equally through mutual respect. The system is organized in a manner which does not open door for superiority or inferiority. Practically, a system where equality, rather than superiority or inferiority, prevails has been created. It is believed that any tendency that affects this basic principle would not be able to put in place a sense of superiority sustainably and it would not result in anything other than dispute. Our Executive Committee has hence affirmed that the system which guaranteed peace and equality for quarter a century is the outcome of this fact. Hence, any effort that is exerted using any type of cover up to weaken this system of equality would not be acceptable and need to be averted.
This being as it is, agreement has also been reached to obliterate the activities of those who move to satisfy their parasitical needs by the name of one or other nationality and party. Agreement was also reached that all national parties should relentlessly struggle against all parasites in their respective states which they govern.
The Executive Committee has admitted that EPRDF’s leadership lacks discipline in passing decisions in a committed and faithful manner. Thus, many accomplishments and day to day activities were halted and the public has been deprived of basic services due to the failure to abide by principles and guidelines of the government and party.
The undemocratic tendency in recent times was not limited to the party’s leadership or the Executive Committee. Rather it has broader scope and has its own effect in hindering the effort to safeguarding the rights of citizens and providing them with basic services. In addition to this, there were also incidents that would impede the scope of our democratization process. Even though our constitutional system designed feasible procedures to entertain wishes and aspirations in democratic, legal and peaceful way, the leadership’s inability to develop/expand the democratic scope has created disputes and differences which in turn have triggered conflict and instability.
As all Ethiopians know it, conflict and instability have become normal phenomenon in our nation since recent times. The disputes that occurred between states have caused many casualties and displaced thousands of civilians from their homes. This caused concern, anxiety and fear among the people in pursuing their day to day lives.
The conflicts being ensued in different parts of the country have caused not only death and displacement of civilians and material destruction but also posed serious danger to our national survival and increased our vulnerability to external threats. Hence, we are forced to stand at a crossroad between developmental aspirations and instability. Thus, our Executive Committee has decided not only to enforce the constitutional democracy faithfully but also to expand the democratization scope and to bring back everything to tranquility in short period of time by resolving all causes of conflicts.
The constitutional and democratic being built in our nation is based upon the diversified wishes and interests of the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia. But, unnecessary attitudes have been observed, hampering the progress of the multi-party democratic system that has been developing over the last 25 years by the efforts of our party and government. The inability to identify and address the challenges on time has weakened the multi-party system. Though, the democratic progress is not only based on proclamations and willingness of our party, the Central Committee has realized we have huge limitation in promoting it progress.
Besides, the Executive Committee has evaluated that the efforts being exerted to empower and give space to the media to enable it contribute its own pivotal role in serving the public and developing democratic system have not yet borne fruitful result. Consequently, there were situations where some federal media outlets have not been operating in accordance with the rules and regulations of the country. As a result, the Executive Committee understood that they have been disseminating information that has been disturbing peace and culture of mutual respect of the people. The weakness of the government has contributed its own share to the problem.
Moreover, the leadership affirmed that there were also shortcomings in building a democratic society and in creating national consensus on the constitution. There are also no organized civil movements in the country. Though the effort to strengthen and build public trust on our constitutional democracy needs active public participation, the public mobilization and participation has not been improved as expected. Therefore, the Executive Committee has agreed to tackle the challenges facing the democratic system through strengthening the active participation and involvement of the people. The leadership has also agreed that as building democratic system and public participation is a matter of life or death, special attention would be given to them.
Furthermore, the effort to sustain good governance, which is very decisive for our survival, has been challenges leadership weaknesses. It has become challenging to protect and expand the activities being undertaken to step up democratic institutions, public participation, and equity and to respect the supremacy of law and sustain accountability and transparency.
In addition to this, officials who were assigned in all levels of government had constraints in working for the interest of the people wholeheartedly and diligently. Consequently, it caused public resentment and discontent. The Executive Committee has also understood that the problem was aggravated because of the weakness observed among the top leadership. Government officials who have involved in corruption and other malpractices were not made accountable due to the inability to enforce the supremacy of law.
The necessary legal actions have not been taken on those who violate citizens’ fundamental and human rights. In addition, there are also execution shortcomings and ethical problems that occur in government development projects that were meant to benefit citizens and the country as a whole.
As a result, these projects that aim at benefiting the people and ensuring the country’s competitiveness have been exposed to delay, inflation and inefficient utilization of resources. The Executive Committee believes that such good governance problems should get quick response and corrective measures starting from the grassroots level. So that, the Committee decided to address good governance problems practically by fighting populist tendencies that opt to give empty promises.
Our party has so far made significant progress in creating a single political and economic community whose foundation is equality. It also travels a long way to avert the disintegration of the country by building a democratic unity and a system based on equality. It brought opportunity for the establishment of nationwide infrastructural networks. Besides, several weaknesses were also observed among the leadership in strengthening various people to people relations in a way that could strengthen the party as well as the federal democratic system.
The Executive Committee also recognized through the evaluation that tangible results have not been registered in terms of strengthening the constitutional system, developmental thinking and Ethiopian unity in diversity. Thus, the party decided to overcome these challenges by linking the idea of nationalism and national identity. The problems observed so far that put the country at the risk of prolonged conflict are mainly the outcomes of EPRDF’s leadership weaknesses, particularly that of the Executive Committee. The problems are occurred as Executive Committee members and senior government officials could not discharge their responsibilities independently, strategically and tactfully.
This evaluation also revealed that there is a huge gap among EPRDF’s Executive Committee members and senior government officials in providing timely and strategic leadership. The party also recognized that senior government officials have poor leadership performance in predicting and analyzing problems, identifying problem-solving mechanisms, and organizing public forums among others. As a result, the committee reached an agreement that senior officials are responsible for the ongoing public grievances.
In this regard, besides taking the full responsibility, the Executive Committee would like to express its sincere apology to all the peoples of the country and members of our party and supporters for its inability to give timely responses to prevent the damages the peoples’ development gains.
While EPRDF is a party of continuous struggle and change, yet it expresses its earnest remorse for putting the ongoing quarter a century development in jeopardy. Thus, the party renews its covenant to work with commitment and perseverance to prevent the reoccurrence of this situation. Our party, EPRDF, which has a sparkling history of overcoming any challenges that come about, vows that it will get rid of the current situation of the country and carry on with its triumphant journey.
Honorable Peoples of Ethiopia
The Executive Committee of the EPRDF has decided to focus on the following directions based on the above-mentioned evaluation and understanding to address urgent challenges and sustain the ongoing development.
- During the 17 days evaluation, the Executive Committee decided to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the country and improve the participation of our people's in democratic and development activities within a short period of time. Thus, the Committee decided that the government, together with the people, will take full responsibility to avert violent activities of anti-peace elements who are engaged in disrupting the peaceful life of our peoples. As the issue of supremacy of the law should not be left in jeopardy, it has decided to control any violation of the law and ensure peace in a sustainable manner.
The government will take action to stop any individual or group efforts to instigate chaos by blocking roads and disturbing the free movement of and day to day activities of the people. It decided to fully stop the death and the displacement of the people as a result of boundary issues between states. The party also decided to create conducive environment for citizens who have been displaced due to the recent conflicts along the Somali and Oromia states which caused deaths and hardships on innocent civilians.
In addition, the party decided to stop illegal trades that instigate conflict in these areas and to provide farmers and pastoralists with the necessary protection so that they go about their day to day economic activities peacefully. The EPRDF Executive Committee also expressed its appreciation for the defense and security forces for their contribution and sacrifices to preserve the peace and stability of our people.
- The Committee decided that all members of national parties’ leadership to deeply evaluate the weaknesses observed at the top leadership and take corrective measures based on transparency and accountability to effectively accomplish the objectives of Growth and Transformation Plan.
- Though our federal democratic system has answered fundamental questions to ensure equality and fairness among citizens, the Committee has identified variations in development from place to place in relation to execution weakness. Though, we have registered considerable achievement in reducing poverty, it is important to strengthen the struggle as 1/4th of our people still live below the line of poverty. In addition to the contributions of the federal development projects, the Committee has requested the states to play their due role in development by carrying out their duties and responsibilities and make the best of the development potentials. It has also set directions for the states so that they will, together with the public and federal government, work towards strengthening unity.
- In order to capacitate the executive bodies so that they can provide immediate responses for the public’s demands, it was decided to re-examining the government structure and sustain the deep renewal process. In this case, the Committee called upon civil servants in the federal and state governments to develop great public service attitude and meet the demands of our citizens more than ever before.
- As the nation’s successful achievements over the last two decades are best demonstration of the trust citizens have on the government, the Committee decided to take steps to restore this trust and confidence by constantly responding to public’s demands. Emphasizing the importance of the public's participation in decision making, it has set directions to carry out all necessary activities that address the questions our youths raise so that their participation in and benefits from the ongoing development increases.
- The committee decided that all opposition parties, together with the people, should strive to overcome the challenges of the multiparty system. Moreover, the Committee has called up on intellectuals and civic societies to play their roles in widening the democratic space to support the effort to build a democratic system.
- The Committee also decided to put a stop to any tendency that violates human and democratic rights endured by our democratic constitution. The Committee has set forth directions to accomplish all the necessary activities that ensure the human and democratic rights of citizens.
- The Committee also underscored the need to boosting the skills of public and private media institutions so that they can play their respective roles in the ongoing development and national unity. In connection to this, it has also decided to take corrective measures on the institutions that continue to disseminate destructive information and tried to disrupt harmonious relationship among citizens.
Dear peoples of our country, scholars, members and supporters of our party, partner parties, as well as security forces and law enforcement bodies,
During the last 26 years, our organization, EPRDF, by joining hands with the people and winning their trust, has been striving in building a country where citizens’ rights and privileges are respected. In this process, we have paid great sacrifice and managed to register rapid economic growth for more than quarter a century. Even though it is not expected to alleviate all of the challenges and a lot remains to do ahead of us, we have gone considerable distance in realizing our renaissance. Our commitment and determination to bring the objectives of the renaissance to successful ending would determine the bright future of our country. Therefore, the Executive Committee of EPRDF would request all our people to work hard towards the successful realization of the ongoing renaissance.
EPRDF’s Executive Committee