Internal opposition in a fray in Meles's Parliament

Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1198
While the leadership of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy Party (CUDP) in the Diaspora is paralysed by a deep internal crisis, the situation is no better for the opposition within Ethiopia itself. Two of its leaders still free, former members of the United Ethiopian Democratic Force (UEDF), are pulling in different directions. Merera Gudina of the Oromo National Congress (ONC) and Beyene Petros of the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Coalition (SEPDC) no longer have the same political approach.
According to sources close to the government, Merera Gudina has tried to persuade Beyene Petros to campaign with him to put the freeing of the imprisoned opposition leaders into a central place on the agenda of the new parliamentary session. Beyene Petros and Bulcha Demeksa are believed not to have accepted to follow Merera Gudina on this path, whereas Lidetu Ayalew is reported to not even have been contacted. Since then, the Ethiopian government has stepped up the pressure on Merera Gudina, with measures including freezing his personal bank account.
For their part, some EPRDF newspapers have accused Merera Gudina and several CUDP MPs who accepted to take up their seat in Parliament of having plotted to “disrupt the work of Parliament”. However, according to a source close to Mereru Gudina, the latter’s disagreement with Beyene Petros broke out when the latter asked him to publish on behalf of the internal wing of the UEDF, a joint communiqué denouncing the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP, radical faction of the UEDF, influential among the Ethiopian Diaspora). Merera Gudina refused and Beyene Petros finally released the communiqué in the name of the SEPDC alone.

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at9:01 AM

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