Way forward for Ethiopia’s opposition

By Messay Kebede

It is now totally clear that the form of opposition based on the goal of winning parliamentary elections is a dead-end, obvious as it is that the leadership of the TPLF has never contemplated the prospect of sharing power with the opposition, let alone ceding defeat to the verdict of the ballot-box. Ethiopians face two choices: either to resign themselves to the idea of an indefinite rule of the TPLF or to rise up and confront the regime with their own violence. There is, however, a third possibility, which is non-violent resistance and whose essential characteristic is the refusal to cooperate through such actions as massive strikes, demonstrations, boycotts, etc. Though highly efficient to overthrow dictatorial regimes, the recourse to non-cooperation requires the conviction that the government in place is not open to the game of elections and, most of all, leaders ready to suffer all the gruesome hardships that dictators usually preserve for opponents. Before reflecting on the way ahead, it is imperative to assess correctly the outcomes of the recent parliamentary election. People have reacted diversely to my previous article concerning the election (see “Yes, a Fake Election, but for what Purpose?”), with many disapproving my characterization of the outcome as a “defeat of the opposition.” According to my critics, the blame should be put on Meles… click here to continue reading