"The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being." - Lech Walesa

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Ethiopia opposition says elections an ‘undemocratic disgrace’

Ethiopia opposition says elections an 'undemocratic disgrace'
May 30, 2015

(AFP) Ethiopia’s main opposition party on Friday condemned weekend elections, which saw the ruling party cruise back into office, as a “disgrace” and proof the country was a one-party state.
According to preliminary results from last Sunday’s elections, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn secured all 442 parliamentary seats so far declared out of the 547 seats up for grabs.
The EPRDF, in power in Africa’s second-most populous nation for over two decades, were widely expected to secure a near clean sweep of parliament, and the outgoing chamber had just one opposition MP — but even this was taken by the ruling party.

Democratic Deficit Pushes Ethiopia to Dictatorship

May 30, 2015

by Eidmon Tesfaye | Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)
In the good old days, it used to be the tradition of dictators to sit at home and never show their faces in the capitals or in most parts of their own countries. They respected the self-imposed isolation in the grand palace prison they constructed and did not pretend to love or be loved.
Gagging the Media in Ethiopia
It was a very refreshing condition for their subjects. They listened to the pronouncements of the dictator on the radio, watched the dictator cutting some ribbon surrounded by his security force on television or read about him in the local rag that passed itself as a newspaper.
Modern dictatorships rely on repression and control of the economy, military, media and culture. They also develop nationalistic ideologies and they create groups and mass organisations that build links within the elite and with the masses.

Friday, 29 May 2015

On The Scene: In Ethiopia, ‘Are You a Journalist?’ Is a Loaded Question

People take part in a Blue Party election rally
People take part in a Blue Party election rally in
Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, May 21, 2015.

.May 28, 2015

Are you a journalist?” the young man asks me as we board the elevator.
In Ethiopia, this is a loaded question.  It earned me an extra 45-minute wait at airport immigration as officials thumbed through my passport, pawed through my luggage and asked me what my intentions were.
Several international human rights groups have documented the systematic repression of Ethiopian journalists who were openly critical of the ruling party.  About a dozen journalists and bloggers are in Ethiopian prison, accused of terrorism.  Many more have fled into exile and are covering this year’s election from afar.

Is the TPLF Unintentionally Preparing the Ground for a Military Takeover?

Dr. Messay KebedeMay 28, 2015

by Messay Kebede
Readers may remember that I was recently involved in a dispute with Tecola Hagos over his article
 unjustly criticizing the conference on the Horn of Africa, organized by ESAT (seehttp://www.ethiomedia.com/100leads/4867). In addition to criticizing his assessment of the conference, my article disapproved his call for a military dictatorship. At the same time, I recognized the rationale that led Tecola to make such a baffling proposal. I noted that he had lost all hope in the possibility of the TPLF reforming itself, even as the necessity of reforms springs