Dr. Tsegaye Ararssa

The one thing TPLF thugs cannot afford to do is to scare people away from the resistance. Announcing another state of emergency (SOE) as a breaking news (without even agreeing in the COM) may help the thugs to transport their illicit economic gains from Oromia and to fabricate inter-communal conflicts among people. But in the end, it will only aggravate the situation. It will provoke the resistance to come back in vengeance.

The SOE may also help them mask the dark dealings to handpick a leader for OPDO, TPLF’s own preferred replacement of the outgoing prime minister (PM). But so doing will not restore peace, address the demands of the public, ensure the security of the country, facilitate transition to democracy, or bring about reconciliation.

The kind of transitional leader needed now is one that can broker peace among contending forces, listen to the plight of the peoples, extend relief to the displaced and suffering public, pacify the country by taking the army back to their barracks, and builds a genuine inter-communal solidarity.

So far, considering:

a) his readiness to listen to the public, to realign his party to their tunes, and to publicly articulate their problems on all possible platforms;

b) his efforts (and success, to an extent) to pacify his region, particularly reorganizing the police force and reorienting it to become the guardians of public peace;

c) the empathy he expressed in his approach to the relief mobilization for the displaced mass and his responsible attitude in handling the Liyyu Police aggression;

d) the gesture of solidarity he extended to people outside of his region, especially the bond he built with the ANDM leadership in the Amhara region;

e) the willingness to start negotiation with the opposition parties;

f) the calm temperament he manifested throughout these tumultuous times and the potential statesmanship that this promised;

g) the extraordinary public trust he has gained (most of which he earned);

there is a lot of anticipation that Lemma Megerssa, as the leader of OPDO–and possibly the chief of EPRDF–will be nominated to become the next Prime Minister. I hope OPDO will not squander its opportunity to lead by ignoring or otherwise sidelining this candidate.

Many raise the issue of his not being a member of the federal parliament as a hurdle (art 73). But if EPRDF is so worried about the constitutional integrity of the process, they can conduct a replacement election for vacated regional and federal seats in a short order.

Obviously, I don’t, for once, believe that giving him the top job will help address all of the problems that the protest is about. But considering the popularity he sways even among the Qeerroo, I am hopeful that he can lead the reform that can eventually transform the polity better than any other candidate currently vying for the top position in government. Obviously if polls are anything to go by (and if one is taken), they would show that he has a better chance to win and that he commands a bigger support among the large majority of people in Oromia and beyond.

OPDO can sideline Lemma only at its own peril. TPLF-EPRDF can ignore him (and meddle in the business of the regions) only at the risk of provoking another round of mass unrest and an unstoppable tide of protests.

Even as the regime uses a method that is overused and has been patently ineffective (SOE), people are running out of patience.

“ጨው ለራስህ ስትል ጣፍጥ አለዚያ…” jettee mitii ree warri ollaa?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s