Ginbot 7 party activities in Ethiopia

November 21, 2012

In a conversation with Landinfo in March 2011, party leader Berhanu Nega said that G7 has a widespread, secret party network in Ethiopia. He said that the party is organised in a cell structure and is active throughout Ethiopia. The cells are autonomous and each cell consists of four to five people.

BACKGROUND

Since the transfer of power to the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)1 in 1991, Ethiopian politicsGinbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy Public Relations Office has been characterised by a Marxist and centralised political model which leaves very little room for oppositional political activity. This authoritarian trend has roots in the Ethiopian political culture, but is also characterised by an ideological, revolutionary democracy and carries experiences from the armed resistance to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)2.

The government held elections for parliament in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010, but the implementation has been criticised for favouring the ruling party, which is the dominant party with strong influence on the administration and the courts. There are registered opposition parties in Ethiopia, but their scope is significantly restricted by law, a politicised central government and ethnic conflict (Abbink 2010). 70 registered parties participated in the election in 2010. The ruling party won all the seats except one in parliament and 1904 seats in the regional assemblies. The opposition won four seats in the regional assemblies.

Since 1991, several Ethiopian parties inside and outside Ethiopia have had armed rebellions as a means of regime change. Amongst these are the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) (see Landinfo 2010b), the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) (see Landinfo 2011) and the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP) (see Landinfo 2010a). These parties are illegal (Criminal Code 2005), and any activities in Ethiopia are mainly underground. Read more…

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