I truly and deeply believe this is a very critical moment Ethiopians to engage in a very serious and productive discussion if we are serious enough about bringing the change we desperately aspire. Yes, it is very important to thoroughly understand and appropriately interpret where we are now, including the possible death of Meles Zenawi, the terrible panic in the camp of the ruthless circle (TPLF/EPRDF)and the consequences to follow.
As it has been well stated by some genuinely concerned commentators , the most important factor in this very urgent and serious political arena is the role to be played by opposition forces who of course have legitimate stake in the process of rebuilding a country in which all her citizens can live with political freedom, justice , genuine fraternity/equality and shared prosperity.
To this very desirable end, there must be some kind of fundamental values and principles to be taken seriously . Although I know these values and principles are the ABC of establishing a democratic and prosperous society , it is absolutely necessary to remind ourselves repeatedly about them .Because these basic factors of a political arena are parts and parcels of our day-to-day lives. It is from this perspective that I want to have my say on their importance.
1) All opposition forces need to get out of the their small circles both in terms of state of mind (ideology) and practices ( overshadowed by dysfunctionality). This, of course, requires a real sense of courage and honesty,not the other way round!
2) All genuinely concerned civic ,professional and community organizations should have their own role in the question of how to deal with the very serious and urgent political environment we are encountering. There is no way to accomplish a very big and complex national political mission with out an active participation of these parts of the society.
3) The young generation ( students ,workers ,farmers ,etc.) has a very huge role to play because of having unique place in the history of political changes either for good or bad. And that is : a)the youth is the majority of energetic work force, and b) the future belongs to it. There is no way to be a group of avoidance of politics but at the same time aspiring a system of life in which we live with democratic freedom ,justice and human dignity!!
4) When it comes to the question of who is expected to take the driver seat in the process of the struggle for Democratic change , there is no doubt that it is the well-organized ,well-determined and effective political leadership – the opposition political groups . Leadership is not as the same as management we know. It is a question of coming up with smart and decisive role whenever a very big and serious wave of change becomes necessary. That is why it is quite rational and legitimate to put a lot of pressure on all political forces if the change we aspire should become a reality.
5) Is it not possible for those opposition forces to be effective with out forming some sort of genuine coalition or united front based on the commonly accepted and shared principles,values and objectives. Absolutely impossible; especially in the case of our political history and the current political environment. That is why the issue of coming together and setting up a a political body with a clear principle and mission is so urgent .
6) Yes, coming together and establishing a united front cannot be taken for granted at all. The behavior of ego-centerism, the tendency of taking the larger credit for showing some degree of success , the culture of blaming each other whenever there is failure instead of having honest dialogue and making correction, the mentality of “things do not work if I am not a big boss”, the culture of running away from the part we belong because of our unproductive personality and working against our old friends/colleagues , and so on and so forth should be defeated,if not minimized if we want to succeed.
7) It must be born in mind that our fundamental objective is to change the existing ugly political system( pysdo-multi-party) to a genuine multi-party political field. If that is the case , we need to avoid the culture of exclusion using very clumsy and unproductive preconditions for those political parties who do not agree with our ideas in the process of the formation of a united front.
8) It is absolutely necessary to focus on what we have in common ,not differences which should be treated accordingly.
9) I strongly believe that we seriously need to think about genuine reconciliation not merely for the sake of excusing and apologizing each other, but also opening dialogue how to come to an agreement on the question of sharing political power.
Any way, I sincerely believe in the saying,” If there is a will ,there is a way!”
All the best!!!
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