TPLF annouced today that it is holding a meeting of the executive council of its facade grouping EPRDF tomorrow. However, the much anticipated naming of a successor to the late PM is not even on the agenda. There is no more urgent agenda item today in Ethiopia than naming a successor for a vacant PM position. The TPLF knows very well that the Ethiopian poeple and the entire world are watcing closely and the position must be filled in with utmost urgency. Though the ethnic and secretive nature of the TPLF wouldn’t allow it to level with the Ethiopian people, there is no doubt that the main and probably the only agenda item at tomorrow’s meeting is the selection of a PM and the rest of the items are intended just to provide a cover. The other reason why they didn’t want to announce it as an agenda item might be because there is something fishy going on. This most likely has to do with the fact that there is no consensus yet as to who would be named to succeed meles. By not announcing it as an agenda item, they are leaving themselves a leeway in case they fail to agree on a candidate at the meeting. It is also intended to officially gauge on record where everybody is standing on this issue. Tomorrow’s meeting might just be the first in a series of planned meetings until agreement is reached by acquiescing or arm-twisting. Surely there will be lots of wranglings, arm-twistings and backdoor dealings and counter-dealings among the various TPLF factions with each side attempting to solicit diplomatic supports from the US, UK, and EU diplomats and power corridors in back offices in their capitals. In the meantime, the puppet fake organizations (ANDM, OPDO and SEPDM) will be left with no choice but to watch from the sidelines without having any say and with no string to pull to influence the outcome. They will be told to wait until a winner faction emerges from the TPLF and then fall in line. It is certain that the drama will kick off tomorrow officially but what is uncertain is when and how it will end officially or unofficially.
Whichever faction comes on top, H/Mariam's fate seems a done deal as he has the backing of the West led by the U.S. H/Mariam is going to be the horse at least for now and the question is who is going to sit on the saddle holding the bridle. The other question is how long is H/Mariam willing to carry them around on his back or is he going to stand up to them with the winking from the U.S. Is the U.S. going to leave H/Mariam to fend for himself or are they ready to go the distance it takes to help him be a man of himself? It seems to me that the U.S. has now a vested interest in helping H/Mariam stand on his own feet because it has already put its credibility on the line by openly pushing for H/Mariam's succession. What will be impact of the outcome of the U.S. presidential election on this policy? Time will tell and the democratic forces have to consider all options and make good judgements to influence the outcome that can better guarantee democratic reform and peacefull transition to democracy. This is a God given opportunity for the Ethiopian people and democratic forces within and outside the TPLF/EPRDF have to be ready and able to seize it.