Opposition alliance MEDREK faces internal crisis ahead of election

Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), one of the members of Ethiopia’s major opposition alliance, commonly known as Medrek, is once again engulfed in intraparty squabbles that is threatening to bring down the alliance itself just a few weeks ahead of the general elections next month.

Yesterday, a faction of UDJ led by Prof. Mesfin Woldemariam, held a meeting in Addis Ababa and elected him vice-chairman of the party, dismissing the other executive committee members. (click here to read the press release)

Such an ugly display of infighting only serves to empower the Woyanne junta. If Medrek becomes a powerful alliance, Woyanne will simply order the election commission to give legal status to the faction led by Prof. Mesfin, pulling the rug from under Medrek. It is an opposition alliance that is on a very short leash held by Woyanne.

Medrek is composed of UDJ, Oromo Federal Democratic Movement (OFDM), Arena Tigray for Democracy and Sovereignty (ARENA), Ethiopian Democratic Unity Movement (EDUM), Oromo People’s Congress (OPC), Somali Democratic Alliance Forces (SDAF), and United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF).

Medrek top officials, Ato Seye Abraha, Dr Negaso Gidada, Ato Gizachew Shiferraw and Ato Gebru Asrat, are currently touring the U.S. This past weekend they held town hall meetings in Atlanta, Dallas and Washington DC. Last week they were in Seattle. The turn outs were relatively high, and in Atlanta, particularly, they were received warmly. In Washington DC and Seattle, the delegates have faced though questions and criticism from the audience.

The election next month has a predetermined outcome where Meles Zenawi and the Woyanne tribal junta will be declared winners by the fake election commission.