TPLF: The departure of the bigwigs
By YONAS ABIYE
The four member organizations of the ruling party, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF,) the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF,) the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM,) the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) and the Southern Ethiopia Peoples’ Democratic Movement (SEPDM) on Friday concluded their regular meeting by electing their central committees and executive committee members at their respective regional towns. The meeting will be followed by the 9th Organization Congress of the EPRDF, which starts in Bahir Dar today.
As usual, the parties held their sessions behind closed doors, which usually lasts until midnight.
Just like the 8th Organizational Congress, which was held in Adama in 2010, this year has also witnessed the introduction of new committee members and the departure of some old guards especially from the TPLF and OPDO.
During the TPLF’s assembly, which was held in Mekele, long-serving top officials in the political strata were replaced by new committee members. Among them, Tsegaye Berhe and Abadi Zemo left their seats in the executive committee while Seyoum Mesfin, Arkebe Okubay, Berhane Gebrekirstos and Zeray Asgedom are out of TPLF’s central committee.
Alem Gebrewahid, Gebremeskel Tarekegn and Tirfu Kidanemariam became the new members of the TPLF’s executive committee.
Meanwhile, in an unprecedented move, Kuma Demeksa, Girma Birru and Abadula Gemeda left OPDO’s executive committee. These three senior officials have been bold figures ever since the OPDO was established. The bigwigs were replaced by other influential figures, Workineh Gebeyehu, the director general of the Federal Police and Aster Mamo. Alemayehu Atomsa and Muktar Kedir resumed their positions of chair and deputy of OPDO, respectively.
OPDO also increased the number of seats of the central committee to 81, from 65 previously.
Similarly, ANDM made a couple of changes in its executive committee. The Berhan Hailu, Minister of Justice and Kassa Tekleberhan, speaker of the House of Federation, were replaced by Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen and Ahmed Abtew. Ambachew used to be member of ANDM a few years ago before he left abroad to study for his (Ph.D.) upon returning to his homeland, he rejoined the party once again.
Similarly, SEPDM made no major changes and the meeting ended by reelecting its executive committee and central committee members. Hailemariam Desalegn and Shiferaw Shigute were reelected as chairman and deputy chairman of their Party.
For the first time in the 24-year history of the party, three women were elected to become members of the executive committee.
Aster Mamo of OPDO was sole committee after the 2008 congress, later Azeb Mesfin of TPLF joined the ranks in 2010.
Now the TPLF elected its second woman member, Tirfu Kidanemariam (the spouse of TPLF chairman and veteran politician Abay Woldu.)
Source: The Reporter