Ethiopia: Ruling coalition agrees to form single party ahead of 2020 poll


Ethiopia’s ruling coalition has agreed to form a single national party ahead of elections next year.

Three of the coalition’s four ethnically-orientated parties agreed to merge into a single party, as part of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s efforts to unite the country. However, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that dominant party in the coalition until early last year refused to take part in the vote.

Coalition agrees to form single party

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the vote to form a united national party was unanimous on Twitter, as dissenting members of the coalition weren’t present in the room when voting took place.

He also announced the name of the new party is Prosperity Party.

“The unanimous decision passed today to merge the Party is a crucial step in harnessing our energy to work toward a shared vision,” the PM said on Twitter. “Prosperity Party is committed to strengthening & applying a true Federal system which recognizes the diversity and contributions of all Ethiopians.”

The prime minister is attempting to heal ethnic divides within Ethiopia by making changes from the top. Ethnic clashes have been on the rise since he came into power last April and 2019 has been a particularly difficult year.

The TPLF has criticised the move to form a single party, accusing Abiy Ahmed of not following the correct procedure. Meanwhile, a number of analysts have suggested it will do little to reduce ethnic tensions across Ethiopia.

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About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.