Friday, November 02, 2007

Two new regional parties in Ethiopia

Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1225 03/11/2007
Two opposition political leaders have created regional political parties which have just been legally authorised by the Ethiopian Electoral Board. Merera Gudina has obtained official authorisation for his Oromo People’s Congress (OPC), a party only allowed to participate in elections in the Oromia Regional State. Merera Gudina is the former leader of the Oromo National Congress (ONC, opposition) but had been ousted from his post by members of the party better placed than he in the eyes of the Ethiopian government. For his part, the former President of the Tigray Regional State and dissident of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF, hard core of the coalition in power in Addis Ababa), Gebru Asrat [ION 1224] has obtained the legalisation of the Arena Tigray for Democracy and Sovereignty Party (ATDSP). However, this party will only be allowed to field candidates in elections in the Tigray region. In fact, these formations will be obliged to form alliances if they are to offer a political alternative to the electorate at a national level.