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Election Season: Ethiopia Hoy!

Probably the best thing that is happening in the 2015 Ethiopian election is the absence of European Union (EU) observers. The last time EU sent observers in 2005, “Anna Gomez the European parliamentarian seemed to be running for a seat in the Ethiopian parliament.

So far, the African Union (AU) has deployed almost sixty election observers under the leadership of Mr. Pohamba, the former Namibian president. But some opposition member are not happy; they remember the EU participation with nostalgia and are lamenting over their absence in this election. The VoA quoted Semayawi Party spokesman who said, “We don’t think the [African Union] is an international observer, it’s a legitimacy of dictatorship.“.

Though reports indicate that the EU has stated it was not invited, a sources close to EPRDF told Gedab News that “the European Union has put conditions on the government to participate in the monitoring.” Another Anna Gomes syndrome cannot be ruled out because usually, “the EU presents recommendations which they treat as orders that should be obeyed, and some stubborn African leaders don’t listen.

The 2005 election was marred by violence; close to 200 civilians and seven policemen were killed in the unrest. For a few days, Addis Ababa was immersed in what looked more like an urban warfare spree than an election season. Despite that, the opposition spoiled it for themselves when they decided on wining all or nothing. Instead of taking the one-third of the total seats they won, they rejected the results and denied Ethiopia a faster learning curve in the election process.

In 2010, the opposition was too crippled to run a successful campaign and the panicked EPRDF, which hadn’t recovered from the shock of the 2005 turmoil, campaigned so hard it ended up winning 99.6% of the seats, .6% more than the typical African margin of 99%. That didn’t look good on Ethiopia and it will certainly not look good if it is repeated in 2015.

In order for an Ethiopian election to be promising, it should break the embarrassing 99% win that is all too common in the elections of the region. Anywhere around 75% would be ideal, though at this moment, to expect a less than 85% win for the EPRDF is unrealistic.

The opposition is hardly as widespread and as organized as the EPRDF. Therefore, it is not the winning, but the size of the win that will indicate how far Ethiopia has moved towards an equitable share of political power. For a party aspiring to promote democracy, to control 545 seats of the 547 seat parliament is not admirable. There was only one lone opposition deputy, Girma Seifu, who could crush the inauguration party of the EPRDF controlled parliament.

In a 2010 interview, the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told awate.com’s Saleh Johar that he will leave office in 2015 together with the EPRDF old guards. He said,And that would be my departure and the team that departs with me would be the last one. That is why everybody has to depart between the beginning of this term and the end of this term [2010-2015].” He died two years later and didn’t survive the term.

But his promise has been kept as new faces replaced most of the old guard in senior government positions–the replacement was even hastened after his departure and Ethiopian government officials are steadily becoming younger and more diverse. At the same time, the country is registering a steady double digit economic growth and expanding its middle class. In addition, the EPRDF has about succeeded in changing the negative perception and transforming the long held image of a famished country, with impressive results. A reasonable win by the opposition would be considered a win for Ethiopian democracy and will enhance the efforts of re-positioning of the country.

Who stands a chance?

Almost sixty parties, many of them organized along ethnic lines, are running for the 547 federal legislative seats. The main contenders include the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum; a coalition popularly known as Medrek ; the Semayawi Party; and Unity For Democracy And Justice.

The incumbent EPRDF boasts of a large base estimated at around 6.5 million card-holding members.

The show of force is visible in the capital city which influences election results in most of the country. However, the EPRDF campaign has been stronger and its rallies attracted far more people compared to the opposition rallies. The four party coalition of EPRDF which has been in power since it defeated the Derg regime in 1991, is expected to win in all the 9 regions that make the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, and seems secure in its leading position, at least for the coming term.

Semayawi, the new darling of the city which was formed three years ago has a less visible presence outside urban areas, and it stands a good chance of winning significant seats in Addis Ababa due to its relatively better organized campaign, and its diverse and young supporters. It is mainly running on an anti ethnic federalism ticket. According to an observer, “the ticket might appeal to the multi-ethnic urban centers, but elsewhere in the country, ethnic federalism is considered an empowering of minorities.” Overall, the party is expected to win a relatively smaller number of seats from the 135 seats it aspires to acquire.

Another serious contender is Medrek, a party which is expected to gain considerable votes in the Oromia region, and through the influence of its allies, a small share of the Tigray votes.

As expected, in the last few days, the opposition has been claiming to have been denied breathing space by the EPRDF; Semayawi claims that over half of its registered 400 candidates were rejected, but the electoral board explains that “the rejected had multiple membership in parties and that is against the board’s regulation.

It is likely the complaints will increase after the announcement of the results because none of the opposition is poised to secure enough seats to form a government. At best, they are expected to be junior partners in some regional governments, though lesser in the federal parliament.

Real Life

Behind the forest of shiny glass and concrete buildings that have been popping up in all Ethiopian cities for the last decade, fighting poverty still remains the main challenge facing Ethiopia. Inflation is pushing more people to destitution, and the glamour of the cities is attracting huge numbers of people from the countryside. However, the economy is not expanding enough to absorb the new workforce entering the market every year . Even though the country has registered impressive growth rates, a big chunk of the 85 million Ethiopians lives below the UN poverty line..

Stability

Although not popular, the Ethiopian anti terrorism law has helped the EPRDF stabilize the country and at the same time consolidate its power. But the law has made Ethiopia the target of strong criticisms by rights organizations that accuse the country for having a thin skin in dealing with dissenters, and for human rights violations. The unpopular anti terrorism law is known to be repressive, where ever it is proclaimed, including in the USA which piloted the law after 911. The collapse of security in Somalia and terrorist attacks in its cities gave Ethiopia the excuse to adopt the law. However, it seems that the law, once enacted, has no chance of being repealed before it inflicts enough damage on the freedom of the citizens and the image of the country.

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  • Naod Samiel

    With all the talk about democracy and human rights, I’m surprised you hate Ana Gomes (spell it right) so much, but then again, much of this piece reads like Ethiopian government PR. I hope one day you can be as critical of Ethiopia as you are of Eritrea.

  • Fetima Dechasa

    Why on earth would an Eritrean website care about an election in Ethiopia? Let it go neighbors, it is none of your concern. To go as far as analyzing what’s happening in Ethiopia is absurd, unless of course it involves you. You have bigger fish to fry.

    • Micahel

      Dear Fetima – I doubt Awate.com will post this but I am 100% sure they will read it…
      No sane Eritreans believes this website or it’s moderators to be Eritreans!! – They are the late TPLF prime ministers directs reports. Their main mission is to defame Eritrea so bad that their Momma Ethiopia can re-claim it back!! How can minority regime claim to win 100% election and find cheerleaders such as this website to provide their low IQ analysis!!!
      Selam to all of us

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Taye,

    Is the democratic process in itself or the winning by high percentage that makes the process undemocratic? The way you put your report reflect or shows the later. I didn’t hear or read any report form the opposition complain in setting the election process nor yet to the outcome of the process.

    regards
    Amanuel Hidrat

    • tariku

      really?

    • Peace!

      Dear Emma,
      Is the democratic process in itself or the winning by high percentage that makes the process undemocratic? The answer is big NO. But it certainly validate the complains from almost every direction.

      regards

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Haw Peace,

        Just give me a little time, I am have way writing a short essay on contemporary regimes and the prospect of future Eritrean regime after the fall of the existing regime, taking all the variables and the limited demand of the reformers as we speak and the stand off we are in. It reflect my personal assessment from the reality and not from my personal desire for democratic regime.

        regrads,
        Amanuel Hidrat

  • ERITREANFORLIFE

    This is to awate.com. Why do you keep deleting my posts? I know the truth hurts, buts the deal here? government and President isaias Afwerki supporters are not allowed to voice their opinion? but the rest of these haters are allowed to vomit garbage just because they hate our government and leader. You have the nerves to preach about freedom of the press,speech,etc., thats a joke.

  • ERITREANFORLIFE

    TPLF IS HISTORY, ESPECIALLY AFTER THE LATEST NEWS OF FIVE ARMED ETHIOPIAN OPPOSITION REBELS ARE UNITING AGAINST TPLF.

    http://www.tesfanews.net/five-armed-ethiopian-opposition-forces-agreed-to-unite/

  • ERITREANFORLIFE

    “The four party coalition of EPRDF which has been in power since it(EPLF) defeated the Derg regime in 1991”

  • dawit

    Dear All.

    Enjoy Asmara Carnival the largest in Africa. Curtsy of ERiTV, ‘Serving the Truth’, Number One in the World!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sedtHtUBoQ4&feature=player_embedded&list=PL31C77D411F0FBEA2

    • Abi

      dawit
      dawitm zemere destawun asema
      Benetsanetu qen kegodana harinet asmara ketema
      Netsanetim meTa simun asamiro
      KeEsat wede remeT yebzuhan nuro
      Hizbu tenchacha, tashito ende qunicha
      EyeqeTeqeTut beTfi bergicha
      Anjetu eyarere hono malagecha
      Aye dawit
      dawitn lezefen keto lezmare
      Man liwedaderew keTint eskezare
      Afe qube, libe zewerware
      Amlak meche Tefaw yante kifu sira
      Meche feqedelih betun endtsera.
      Bel enkuwan des yaleh, beAlhim yidmeq
      Hizbu endehone lemdoal meshemaqeq.

  • dawit

    Dear All Eritreans and Ethiopians Enjoy your 24th. Independence Day May 24, 1991.

  • betri_weyn

    Thank you

  • sabri

    Dear Eyob,

    I don’t see winning seats as an indicator to improved election system. The election in Ethiopia is still at its infant age. However, the opposition by this time should have learnt what is expected from them. What is expecting from them is to present credible alternative. Until now I don’t see any Ethiopian opposition group who present an alternative program. What all they are saying is on jailed journalists, on jailed opposition figures and so on. Sometimes I wonder if they are human right activists or opposition parties.

    On the other side if you see the EPRDF’s governance, they have already declared to follow the Develipmental state style of governance. They took it seriously and they are busy in implementing it. Having a strong state that govern for a long period of time is a nature of Develipmental state. Is that kind of governance not good for Ethiooia? If the answer is yes, it should have been the task of the opposition to show a better alternative program.

  • Eyob Medhane

    Hello all,

    This has been a good analysis by awate team. To add to what awate has missed or didn’t has a space to print, in this election cycle, unlike the previous one, Tigray state has seven parties competing in it with other than TPLF three parties having a real chance to have to have their candidates elected. Sal, has been for a long time grumbling about in Tigray TPLF having an absolute 100% control! and I think after next week, his grumbling will be over. (Medrek, EJDUF and EDP) are putting up a real challenge in Tigray this time..

    For those of you, who have not watched it, I recommend PM Hailemariam Desalegn’s interview with Al Jazeera today. It’s a good one, despite the unprofessional demeanor of the interviewer.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VwimUr2C7mY

    • saay7

      Ethiopiawi Eyob Hoy:

      The subscriber you have called is unavailable or has traveled outside of the coverage area. Please try your call again later. Message. CP20.

      I am fasting on Ethiopian politics until June 13 despite the fact that I already won the wager and iSemere is raving about our sacred revolutionnotwithstanding his promise not to do so until June 13.

      I have a perfect rebuttal… Just wait 🙂

      saay

      • Semere Andom

        Hi Sal Hoy:
        it is iSem not iSemere, proper salutation n please 🙂
        and I am still fasting too, I never mentioned neither country nor the organization of our agreement. So you did not win, not yet 🙂

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear Ethiopians AND all

    I wish a peaceful election for our Ethiopian friends, the time of revolutions should end. EPRDF won’t give away a seat to the opposition on its will. Seats are not charitable gifts. They are snatched. My opinion is simple. For its long political survival and its legacy, EPRDF should revise the terrorism laws. The executive and legislative chambers will still be dominated by EPRDF, even AFTER the next election. Continuing its heavy handedness in the disguise of fighting terrorism and scapegoating Shaebia/Eritrea won’t have a lasting use. The opposition should not repeat past experiences; the more it plays by the book the more it will get respect. That’s my unsolicited shaebia advice.

    • Abel

      Dear Mahmud Saleh,

      Compared to French, Canadian,UK and patriotic act of the US, the Ethiopian anti terrorism law is quite lenient and proven to be very effective.Given the geopolitics and security threats in region,why would EPRDF even contemplate in amending it.I know it has been a pain in the…. for those who would like to have it both ways/ legal status and overthrow the government by force/ but the great majority of the public is think comfortable as is.I mean look at Kenya.

    • betri_weyn

      Thank you Mr mahmud saleh for well wishing but the if you see the “the terrorism low” just a copy of your receiver country.

  • Kim Hanna

    Selam AMAN,
    .
    I read your comment above and I have one specific question. I have seen others do it too and I am wondering why? Maybe, you can shed a light. I hope you don’t consider it nitpicking.
    .
    Is there some satisfaction derived from misspelling or not capitalizing E in Ethiopia? I have seen it usually in a hostile or non complementary posts referring to Ethiopia as “etobia” “etiopia” or some variation of the name, what does that mean? What is the message?
    .
    You specifically, did you get a kick out of it when you used “Aethiopia” instead of Ethiopia?
    .
    Do you think some of your countrymen are pretending that they seldom refer to it like Kazakhstan therefore don’t know how to spell it correctly. Really? I await for your response.
    .
    K.H

    • AMAN

      Dear Kim Hanna
      You are right . You neither said anything wrong nor nitpicked on me about
      my spelling or my description of Ethiopia with your observation. However I
      thought you are a little ahead in giving credit to a country and situation not
      realized yet. And I am still of the opinion that Ethiopia is not realized yet and
      I am waiting to see the result of the coming elections and the results it brings
      to reality before I give blank check approval.
      And for the names and their descriptions, yes it is true I learned from some
      knowledgeable writers before me and they describe the 1st and 2nd republics
      that the country came at different stages and the third “Ethiopia” is not there
      as it is not realized yet hence reserved for the coming one.
      As you know both the 1st and 2nd republics ended up in total disaster, disarray
      and destruction to call it a functional Nation or state.
      Let’s hope in the coming third republic. I hope I am clear with my views to your
      request.
      Yours,
      AMAN

      • Kim Hanna

        Selam AMAN,
        .
        Thanks for your response. I am not exactly sure, but let me add quickly that today is election eve in Ethiopia. When the dust settles, I am confident EPRDF party will still lead the country for the coming 5 years. Why shouldn’t they? They brought peace, stability, security, growth, hope and optimism to the people. Is that not worth their votes? In anticipation I will say the following. No matter what the rest of the world would say, I say congratulations, EPRDF and keep up the good job.
        .
        Long live Ethiopia!
        .
        K.H

  • Peace!

    Dear all,

    The upcoming Ethiopian election is a show election, or rubber stamp without any significant political purpose. So It is not about wishing Ethiopia well, but it is about how about if PFDJ to hold a similar sham election tomorrow?

    Regards

    • Nitricc

      Hi Peace do you ever think why not PIA do what the Ethiopians are doing? he could have fake constitution implemented. he could have call fake election that he wins 99.9%. He could have brought the prisoners to the court and slap them with fake findings TPLF style but No! I think he is committed to hand a Virgin Eritrea; clean, uncoruppted culture; clean constitution and real election to next generation. the sad part is he could have done it with better way.

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Nitricc,
        you must be innocent to think so. if there will be constitution and free court then not DIA but every one around him will have to end badly. But do you know he is tough to you than for me? you know why, because you forgot G15 and you didn’t ask for justice. He knows if Petros and Sherifo arrested or killed him you could have forgotten him. Deep inside, everybody knows what the truth is. challenge ? if all the men like me ask for reform and guarantee him his well being he will not hesitate to accept it and in fact he is calling in different ways. you want proof, listen to him soon. but hey, he will never accept people of your group which in fact is true also we those who want justice(real one) will never accept any call from him.

      • Peace!

        Hi Nitric,

        It dependes. The 99.9% win election, election after the fact, is reserved only for puppet governments.

        Regards

      • ERITREANFORLIFE

        The eritrean government, especially PRESIDENT ISAIAS AFWERKI is extremely intelligent. Eritrea is in great hands, too bad many blind sheeps feel the contrary due to the mass false propaganda. With due time, as it is now, the truth is surfacing.

      • Wedi Chided

        ኒትሪክ፡ ሓቅኻ ኢኻ። ኢኣ ድንግል መሬት ማዕድናታ ብውሽጢ ውዝስቲ ዝትሰርቀት፡፡ ጽሪቲ ናይ ኢራን ናይ ኑክልያር ጓሓፍ ዝትራይ ዝተጟሕፋ፡ ንናይ ጽባሕ ናይ ደምሒት ትውልዲ፡፡

    • tes

      Dear Peace!

      To go to war, all you need is fear and provocation but to embrace peace demands courage of being yourself. What you need in the former to accomplish is hate but the later love.

      Let’s drop now country X did this to counry Y. All we need to contemplate about is “what country X has done first and foremost for itself.

      When you wrote, “…what if PFDJ to hold a similar sham election tomorrow?” you reminded me a monkey*. I heard that a monkey sleeps facing to the sky because of fear. The fear has is because of the sky not to fall on him.

      What PFD does is the same as that of the monkey. It has spent 20 years, (1995-2015) observing for what will happen to EPRDF run election. Himself, he forgot. Within the same time span, 20 years, EPRDF conducted 4 elections.

      With all its ups and downs, they didn’t stop from opening doors for the democratisation process. Let’s remember this: Ethiopia was under emperial system, then a dictatorial system was installed.

      But PFDJ came first and installed dictatorial system. And now, instead of implementing his own ratified constitution, he dumped it and is imposing Civil and Penal Codes that is originated from his PFDJ shelf, shelf of dictator and is imposing to the people.

      Remember, in May 24, 2014, DIA glossily mentioned constitution and told the enslaved people that he has ordered a task force to start. Year after, his caty minister, Fozia Hashim came from the medivial cave and tried to deceive the people through words that never heard from the mouth od the dictator.

      tes

      *moneky here is for the animal not Yemane monkey though the myth fits him exactly.

  • selam

    Dear Yikdenena
    stealing is when some one take some thing that he does not have . Weyane owned the ethiopian election for almost 20 years . It is their own property , so they never intend to give the people. But I hope they use the voting with out killing some innocent people because they already have a system on how to make the counting in favor of their own agenda. I just do not want to see people die for things they have no power to change. Weyane are doing a double crime 1. By wasting the aid and hard earned money ,2. By telling the people lies over lies on making the people hungry of empty promises.

    • Wedi Chided

      Dear Selam, t
      Do You know the difference between the Capitalists and socialists. Capitalists dont make you, hungry, sick, and wealthy. But the socialists make you hungry, sick, poor until you dye. I think These Ethiopian capitalists are better than the sicialists in Eritrea.

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    Those who don’t want to fail don’t deserve to succeed

    We shouldn’t wish Ethiopia to change in order to suit us nor do we wish it not to change because the way it is now suits us. We accept Ethiopia as a sisterly nation and for what it is right now, including its shortcomings. We’re not out for what we can get from Ethiopia. Rather, we hope and wish that its aspirations are realized in the most fitting manner that Ethiopia deems beneficial to herself; for now and for ever.

    Best Wishes for all Ethiopians going to the polls.

    • betri_weyn

      haile The Great.I just would like to say ” Thank you”

  • selam

    Dear Readers
    Who is voting ? The voters are the once that should have a great power to do what ever it is good for them. Such development of ideas and the need to force your leaders to not amend your need should given the highest standards and priority by the people’s choice but that is not the case in weyane government. We can see any voice is silenced by weyane if in any case you oppose their throne. My question is , how do a well travelled people , a well educated people are rushing to praise this weyaane theater. Lets see how is the done deal on the eyes of weyane. Who elect the election commission senior leaders ? The answer is EPRDF and their default leader . This commission has the power to cut off any opposition and they have done it in hundreds of them, 400 plus opposition candidates have been nullified by His highness king Hailemariam desalegn election commission. Democratic way of doing business in Ethiopia should not be taken short due to the dame project or due to the uncle same approval. Any one can point to PFDJ and point finger at any one and rightly so can have a point but here we are not comparing the two parties nor do we intend send a message to the dictator in Eritrea . We qre talking about the prism of democracy .

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/07/2013714133949329934.html

    • Abel

      Dear Selam,
      All i could say to you and ur likes is, prepare yourself for more pain and agony.
      EPRDF / Weyane Tigray are posed to win yet another landslide majority a testimonial to their resume, a near miraculous economic development, peace ,stability and yes, to the remarkable improvement in democratization of Ethiopia.

      According to Lars Christian Moller of the world bank, Ethiopia’s 2015/16 economic growth is going to be another double digit (10.5%)while inflation is tamed at single digit only 7.2%. In the coming few years,the country is investing $10 Billion on export hub that will make it Africa’s top manufacturer,the flag bearer Airline is building Africa’s largest airport as large as Heathrow airport and the largest Cargo terminal in Africa, Ethiopian shipping lines owns and operates the largest fleet in Africa, the largest hydro dam in Africa, CBE is building east Africa’s largest sky scrapers headquarter,..etc.All this is real and tangible,That’s why “a well traveled people and well educated people are rushing to praise this weyane theater.” That’s why the Oromo people that you naively keep on mentioning are going to give OPDO another landslide majority. why wouldn’t they?

      • selam

        Dear Abel
        I wish and hope every thing about the economy to be true and eradicate the famine once for ever , I really do . Here we are talking about democracy not about the 10 million people who are under eratic famine , I wish ethiopia to be a neighbor that grows like china for the coming 30 years. I am telling you there is nothing that benefits me than a strong ethiopian economy , I personally will benefit from a wind fall economic growth in ethiopia. So no hard feelings about generating more money because I will take my share . I am just stating about weyane yes your weyane are cheating Ethiopian elections for 20 years and to be continued. That is the true natureof your tigray adwa based leaders . They have been cheating from AID in 1982 to elections to 2015 .They just cheat on counting not on the voting sir.

        • Abel

          Dear Selam,

          You don’t think you are insulting the intelligence of millions people who according to you keep on getting cheated for 24 years and counting?
          Fyi,
          1- there is no famine in Ethiopia and there will never be another one,from now on you will only find it in the books of history just like the Irish potato famine,Norwegian fish famine etc.
          2- Recent data shows that the proportion of people living below the poverty line in Ethiopia has declined from 45.5 % in 1995/96 to 27.8 in 2011/12 and around 24% in 2015.This represents a significant reduction of 38.9% over the last sixteen years.

          I know all along you have some vested interest in Ethiopia, perhaps an Amiche?
          Mayet mamen new, go and see for yourself.

          • selam

            Dear Abel
            if I am not wrong you are telling me 24% of the 90 million people right? And that will be just 21,600,000 people which are living under poverty line . Do not you think 50% of these 21 ,5 million people are on famine watch. Tell me how do you reach on that number For the time being pls refer to your beloved reference.
            http://finance.mapsofworld.com/economy/ethiopia/poverty.html

          • Abel

            Dear Selam,

            The problem is not in maths,it is in the concept.
            Poverty is not famine,they are related but different,pls refer to ur favorite dictionary.
            I said under EPRDF rule, poverty in Ethiopia has been slashed by over 38%. According to the world bank,in 2011, just over one billion people lived on less than $1.25 a day a threshold for poverty line,50 million of them being from the USA.
            Btw my source is the world bank not some interest group gullible tin tank.

          • selam

            Dear Abel
            I am saying 50% of the 21.6 people are on the famine. In 2012 there were 10 million people under emergency . All western NGO were in rush to help. Forget about the definition of the terms. Say what ever you want but the truth matter to all of us.

          • Abel

            Dear Selam,
            By the same connotation, the 50 million people under poverty line in US also might face famine or 1.2 Billion people around the world are facing famine,does it make sense?
            The 21 million people below poverty line in Ethiopia might have a meal or two in a day or the great majority of them in the rural area might be under Safety-Net,which is equivalent to welfare system in the west,but they will NOT die of hunger.
            In simple terms, Poverty line=<$1.25/day, Famine=0/day.
            Forget famine,the country is targeting to be a middle income nation by 2030.listen to PM Hailemariam interview on Al gazeera,you will get some insight.

          • dawit

            Dear Abi, tes et al
            Why did you move the goal post from 2025 to 2030?
            On poverty, economists refer to two kinds of poverty, Absolute and Relative poverty. In Africa what we have is absolute poverty that people not having the basic necessities of life food, water and shelter. In the western world there is no absolute poverty except may be in Haiti, there is relative poverty when a family below the average income or poverty line in the country considered poor. If every one in the country make above $1000000 and if you happen to make $999,999 then you will be considered poor. In present Ethiopia, when we talk of poverty is about the people who are foraging for daily food from garbage ‘Koshe’ and the homeless in Addis or those Ethiopians living in Ogaden and Afar regions or people in Western Southern Regions Gambela evicted from their ancestors’ land sold to Arabs and Indians forced to flee the country to South Africa and Middle East.

          • Tesfa

            Dear Dawit,
            Absolute and relative poverty measures are two approaches to poverty measurement, NOT distinguishable based on geography or income levels of countries/regions. Both measures are used in the developed and developing (most African countries are included here) world. Absolute poverty is measured relative to a fixed reference point (eg. $1.25 a day, or some minimum calorie requirement), whereas relative poverty is measured relative to the entire distribution of income. What we usually hear in the news is the headcount ratio (percentage of people below some income level), and is an absolute measure. An example of relative measure is the Gini coefficient, which measures the share of income earned by, say, the poorest 20 percent of the population. Hope this helps.

          • Olana

            Dear Selam
            What do you mean by famine? Please elaborate more. In 2012 in the USA they had more than 45 million people living under poverty. Do you mean 50% (about 23 million) of them were on famine according to your definition? What about your country’s poverty situation under Isaiah? I understand famine is an extreme scarcity of food, and malnutrition and disease are common faces of Famine. I have not knowledge of such things in Ethiopia. Or could you tell us if you know such occurrences which the woyanes are not willing to publicize.

          • tes

            Dear Abel,

            The ghost from Asmara commenting here doesn’t understand what “below poverty line” is. She is mixing it with “famine”. Please help her to understand the difference.

            She forgot that 80% of Eritreans being farmers are categorized below poverity line. Help her please. She works in a bank but since where she works has money that comes from nowhere and is accounted to no one, all she knows is counting. Hence, pay attention when you post such data or add some explanation.

            tes

          • Pass the salt

            Tes Arkey,
            Everythings considered, Selam is actually a well informed fella, some times to a surprising details. She has good knowledge of what’s going on in the world. That’s why I was truly surprised when she said she never heard of Abune Antonios, the legitimate leader of the Eritrean Orthodox Church.

      • ERITREANFORLIFE

        I HOPE EVERYTHING YOU SAY IS TRUE AND I HOPE THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE IN TOTALITY BENEFIT.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Nitricc,

    ንኢትዮጵያውያን ሰላም ራህዋን ምዕባለን ክንምነ እንከለና ቅድሚ ኹሉ ብወርቃዊ ዓለም ለኽ ቅዱስ ሕጊ ስለ ንኣምን እዩ :: ” ኣብ ልዕሊኻ ክፍጸም ዘቆንዝወካ ናብ ካለኦት ኣይትመነ ” ውይ ” እቲ ንስካ እትፈትዎ ንኻለኦት ውን ተመነየሎም ” ወዘተ

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ci613QcC5E&feature=youtu.be

  • tes

    Dear AT,

    Very informative and it touches the vertical and horizontal dimensions of Ethiopian uprising.

    I wish success to democracy and I commend the courage of EPRDF to let Ethiopia march as it has to be.

    Peace and development for Ethiopians.

    And I wish same to happen in Eritrea soon.

    Ethiopians should always remember PMZ, he is an angel of democratic process.

    On this occasion, I call Ethiopian government to be abided by the EEBC agreements and end fighting for nothing. PFDJ is useless and lawless regime that has no respect at all. But sooner, Eritrea will have a government that brings it to the right path.

    Victory to march for ultimate democracy in Ethiopia. I sad ultimate because the foundation is already well established.

    tes

    + The good wisher of Ethiopian people, democracy, peace and development for all.
    ++If you ask which one is greater (from democracy, peace and development), sure, DEMOCRACY. With democracy, there is peace and development.

    • betri_weyn

      your wise comments is great and I can’t say anything more than what you have said tes “Thank you” we wish on the up coming new parliament.peace development and democracy for the Ethiopian people in general and for Eritrean people in particular.

  • Dear all,
    Ethiopian elections are far from perfect, nevertheless, still they are elections that occur every five years. They cause sounds, complaints, disappointments, hopes, expectations, etc, i.e., all sorts of sentiments in Ethiopians. Some characterize them as third-world country fake elections, while others see them as a sign of a fledgling democracy. At one point EPRDF had said that democracy is equally important as development is, and I hope that they will continue to remember this, and they would
    work towards this goal. While the anti-terrorism law and its victims continue to be the dark spots in EPRDF politics, nevertheless, the accommodation of opposition parties on TV, where they could vent their complaints, criticize and condemn government policies in front of millions of Ethiopians is indeed a big achievement.

    It is unfortunate that supporters of the PFDJ regime were quick to demonize and discredit Ethiopian elections, as if they have better ones to show. It is the all too well known defensive reaction of denial, to shield the regime in Asmara from criticism. They act as if they do not accept anything short of a perfect example of everything. If they have to choose between being completely blind and a one-eyed person, they would
    choose to be blind, because they see perfection in complete blindness. Partial sightedness is an imperfection, and therefore not to be accepted. Is it possible to move forward with such mentality?

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Horizon,

      Democracy develops by “try and errors” in order to fit with your own reality. The Ethiopian government and Ethiopian people are doing exactly that. You are exercising what democratic people and democratic mind expect from you to exercise and show it on the ground. “Election flaws” do always happen every where even in America. What you need is to learn from every flaw in the process and correct it in the next election. We are envying your democratic process and elections with all possible shortcoming in it. Because we don’t have it. So far you are in the right direction and the progress is in a continuous motion as I watch it form far. Ethiopian people must engage in their internal politics, because without that, there will no be progress. I wish you every success in your democratic election

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • betri_weyn

        The long time reasonably debater ato amanuel hidrat Thank you so much for your wise comments

      • Dear Amanuel Hidrat,
        In the end, those of you who stand for peace, justice, reconciliation and cooperation between Eritrea and Ethiopia and the whole region, will be the final winners. That will be the day democracy will be born in Eritrea and freedom will be the uncontested right of the people. Those who insist on political, economic and social stagnation are losing ground by the day. The willpower of those who fight for the right cause is much stronger than those who are on the wrong side. It is a matter of time before light replaces darkness.

        Regards.

      • dawit

        Dear Amanuel,

        I admire your knowledge about Democracy ” trial and errors” process and you approve the Ethiopian government approach. At the same time you condemned Eritrean process. I hate your hypocrisy. When it come about democracy process Eritrea is moving at speed of light. Ethiopia is taking a baby steps after 3000 years of independent country. The Western democracy took over 5000 years since the Greeks discovered it. Your democracy process for a country is selective, you don’t approve the way the Eritrean people ‘trial and errors’, just because it does not fit or not approved by State Department.

        • Kim Hanna

          Selam dawit,
          .
          I am sure Amanuel will get back to you and I don’t know where he will begin. I will just plainly tell you that it is a shocking statement to come from anyone here at Awate, and I am at my wits end to say anything else.
          .
          K.H

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Kim,

            Questions will do with him. Because he hasn’t have a grip on what democracy entails and how it is exercised. We will demote him to remedial class if AT have seen his comment.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • dawit

            Dear Amanuel,
            Sorry Aman for not responding earlier. Actually dawit graduated long time from Awates University undergraduate program of ‘lies and fabrications’ and now taking graduate courses at the University of Truth ERiTV, majoring in ‘Truth’!
            Happy Independence day to you and your family.
            AwetNHafash!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dawitom,

            The fact is, you failed to answer my questions but you jumped to the joke part of my comment. Actually, wouldn’t it be substantive debate to be, should you answer my questions? All the questions are simple and are not tricky. They are straight forward from your claim.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Dawit,

          What is the democracy you have in Eritrea? What kind of democracy your are practicing without a constitution and electoral laws that govern regional and national elections? How many times your president “Issayas Afeworki” was elected by secret ballots? Didn’t your president told us that there will be no elections, may be after forty years. Didn’t your president told the Eritrean people that there is no body who gave him contract for his presidency? By that, he means he will reign Eritrea for his life long. Didn’t your self-elected president told the Eritrean people that after 24 years he will form a commission or committee to draft a constitution? Do you know the basic rules how democratic process start to function, even to try and fall in the process? When you don’t have the process, you can’t have something to go for”trail” in the ground. Come on dawit you can’t go from a college talk to kindergarten talk. Remember you are at awate university.

          regards,
          Amanuel Hidrat

  • Semere Andom

    Dear AT:
    This report is very impressive. It tackled the economic growth and got a peek on the glamor that is reported and the reality on the ground. The dangers that face the country if it does not watch and make sure that it the economic growth is leaving lots of people behind. Left behind is almost a cliché in countries that are transitioning to market economy. Also, crucially, who is left behind? Are those left behind from certain regions, from certain ethnicity needs to be studied and tacked by this emerging country (yea, it is passive voice for obvious reason :))
    On changing the old guard: spot on, this country made two milestones this year, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the group that makes the nucleus of its government to pay tribute to the founders regardless of their politically leaning now and slowly but surely bringing new blood, new talent and new energy to run the government . It must be commended, and even modeled by Eritrea
    On the election, this is related to the commitment of PMZ made regarding retirement, because monopolizing power indefinitely is like economic monopoly, both will result in stagnation of ideas and then downward spiral. The opposition was immature as they lost a golden opportunity to expose the government from inside. Being in opposition comes with lot of power as they can be member of important parliamentary committees, will have the privileges of an elected parliamentarians to grill the government of its excess and slowly transform the society to appreciate the benefits of the adversarial politics. The process is equally important as the results, if the process is devoid of corruption and intimidation and was free and fair the results can be tolerated as I think the systems is based on the British System where winner take it all (first pass the post). The opposition by consolidating can take advantage of the votes that are being spilt and favoring the government
    On the observers, I agree with the opposition leader who said, African Union is a tool of repression and is not qualified to be an observer. Notwithstanding the EU 2005 election blunder, they have earned the right by giving their people a democratic freedom for centuries. And it is not because they had advantage but they have chosen and AU is not an august body of fairness, it has nothing to show for except a landscape that is dotted with dictators and repression and hunger

    • selam

      Dear semere
      Please understand that , it is not the voting that is democracy, it is the counting .

      • Semere Andom

        Hi Selam:
        You are also correct, but I used the term voting to include all facets of the elections: counting, not doing things to stop those who will likely not vote for you to stay home by intimidating, bribing etc. So voting is only one facet of the elections , BUt you are correct, even doing everything by the book and then playing ing with the counting is corruption

    • Eyob Medhane

      Semere,

      I disagree with you on AU observation team. The man that is in charge of this observation team is former Namibian president Pohemba, who is a darling of the neo-liberal establishment and won the coveted Mo Ibrahim 5million award in 2014 for willingly to secede power through election, which Mo Ibrahim foundation couldn’t find a ‘worthy’ winner in five years. True to his neo liberal ideology, the first thing that Pohemba did in Addis, when he arrived to observe the election is to criticize the Anti Terrorism law. Therefore, there couldn’t be more European ‘observer’ to observe this election, who would do more…The blue party did not want the AU observers it seems for a crime of the AU observers not being white and don’t speak with European accent…

  • selam

    Dear L.T
    40 years from now , waw that is hopelessly evil idea. IA will die soon and I will buy 1991 postcard and I will write a thanks message to what ever diseases that kill him .

  • Mizaan1

    Dear all, the biggest loser here is PFDJ and its gullible supporters. They are waiting for Ethiopia to implode in this election. My cousin just came back from a visit to Addis Ababa three days ago. He was born there, deported with his family as a teenager and came to the USA from Asmara via Addis Ababa just in 2012 (his parents petitioned for him as they have been here since 2007). He told me he has never been more shocked in his life by any changes than what he witnessed in AA in two years and half. He said they have already been rounding up ‘street people’ who may cause havoc in the election and putting them away, that is foresightedness, repressive maybe but any hope of EPRDF/TPLF/or Weyane relinquishing any power any time soon is a pipe dream. The faster we all Eritreans learn this new reality of ‘very powerful agame’ (as we very fondly like to refer to them as), the faster we can start moving forward. Realities change and this is the era of EPRDF, let’s quickly adapt and find solutions for our people. Some people think democracy in Africa doesn’t work but look at Ethiopia. In the last two elections, how many people died? Even if it was two thousand, that is better than in repressive states like Eritrea where people perish on the dozens every day.

    • Mizaan1

      Selam, I know you are writing to me in the moment. Please be positive! Try it. It is very relieving and liberating.

      • selam

        Dear mizaan
        BILAE ZEYBELUWOS XU BHULEY EBIL .are you drank ?

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Mizaan join me, for sanction over Selam. I will stop all communications for all Ramadan month. to prepare myself I will start fasting on this month, I will reply to her if only important valuable. if agree say yes for sanction.

        • Mizaan1

          KS, there is something I like about Selam and I don’t know if I bring myself to completely neglecting her. What we need to do is attack here empty nationalism and let her loose out of the box. She is capable of changing and seeing the light. It will be a relief for her and she will thank you and I and others. You can see she has some level of innocence in her.

          • tes

            Dear Mizaan1,

            Do you know what horse she is riding all these time here?

            From her words, words of the crap, I will drop now abour her silly comments about religion,

            “So I will ride my horse with out bothering you , that is a great gift for me.” This is who selam is. Indeed, I agree with you that we should not leave here alone. She must be boxed and shipped to TN and madote rooms. She is perfect there.

            tes

          • selam

            Dear tes
            I have already ignored you , now I am wondering about your endless insults to wards me. Do not you get tired or bored some time ?. Why do not you stop it. You keep insulting me and awate moderator keep silent , I do think he is looking to the donations you made to awate.com over the posting guide lines and rules of this website. I am accusing him because he has used his power over me so many times unwisely and disproportionately. I get in trouble because I was on the right side but on the wrong time , for that I surely get in trouble and I admit my assumption was not right about how the stick is stored in awate.com .

            Now leave me alone , I do not want you to say any thing about me , just ignore me for z sake .

        • selam

          Dear mizaan and k.s
          First, k.s. Romodan begins june 18 and ends 17th of july. I wish you a happy 30 days of peace but I wanted to remind that , going to mosque does not make you a perfect muslim rather than a car stand in a garage , I again wish you a good mechanic to reinstall your fallen deeds. So I will ride my horse with out bothering you , that is a great gift for me.

          Mizaan , you know for a fact I am not going to begg him , when I see points that I agree I endorse them even from people like Hayat.

    • Peace!

      Dear Mizan,

      Obviously the report is not about comparing apples and oranges; it is about the concept of election in Ethiopia, its impact in the last few years, and the future of EPDRF. Nevertheless, there is one thing you seem to have misunderstood that both Countries need each other for many reasons, in particular for economic integration. That means Ethiopian economic development is good news for Eritrea, and conversely, unstable Eritrea is also bad news for Ethiopia. Now, if EPRDF continues to monopolize the election as it has been doing for the last few years, those development you are vouching for will be meaning less because election fraud doesn’t last long. You know Eritrea was booming in the nineteenth before PFDJ destroyed it.

      Regards

      • Mizaan1

        Okay my friend, since when do you speak negative things about PFDJ? It is a good progress nonetheless. The concept of election in Ethiopia is that it is imperfect but it has allowed the country to see progress it has never seen in its “three thousand”* year history combined together. What worse can come to Ethiopia from Eritrean than a couple hundred thousand refugees and an invasion from its blind and egotistic and maniac leader? They withstood all of that and in fact it made them more unified. Any negative thing from Eritrea towards Ethiopia only solidifies their union, have you noticed that. So unstable Eritrea’s impact on Ethiopia? Negligible. Look at a failed state Somalia right next door to them. Has it stopped them? No. It has possibly slowed them down but it didn’t stop them. From here on, Ethiopia can bend but I don’t see it breaking any time soon. That is why they couldn’t careless about us any longer. This is not the late 20th century. They have moved on and any turmoil in Eritrea, they will withstand it. It is us Eritreans that need to be fearful of our own future without worrying what can happen to next door if we have a failed state.

        *I put this in quotation marks anticipating a diatribe from you and Selam.

        • Peace!

          Dear Mizan,

          First of all, just because I am grossed out by the opposition groups it does not mean I support DIA. Nevertheless, your response shows you have a serious misconception about the dynamics of the Ethiopian-Eritrean economic relationship. Just in case I need to remind you we are talking about a land locked Ethiopia and a tiny country with multiple sea outlet, Eritrea. And since you think Eritrea and Somalia are equat to Ethiopia, it will be a pice of work to convince you why my position is valid. Or, I would have tried had you use Djibouti instead of Somalia. Imagine failed state Djibouti to Ethiopia? Please keep in mind when Ethiopian emperors say “Eritrea Meritwa Enji Hizbuwa Aysfelgenem” they are not stupid they mean it, and they are doing it till this day.

          One of the many reasons is the port issue. From Cost analysis perspective, it is cheaper for Ethiopia, in particular Tigray region, to use the port of Massawa instead of Djibouti. The when Djobouti coughs Ethiopia sneezes scenario is not sustainable.

          Regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Peace,

            They have already invested for new port in Djibouti, and they invested millions of dollars for new railway infrastructures. Don’t worry about them worry about us. They accepted the new circumstances and realities. They have their own plan with Djibouti and are implementing their plans on the ground accordingly. We boasted about our ports to them as if life and death to them depends on our ports. If our politics would have been prudent we would have been profited from our ports. It might cost them a heck of money for the new port and new infra-structure, but it is by far worthy to them than to deal with the current erratic regime of Issayas Afeworki. The Ethiopian government’s choice “not to hold hostage” their own development until the issayas regime falls to use our ports, in case a hospitable regime installed in Eritrea is a smart way. They are not even sure what kind of regime will come after Issayas Afeworki as we don’t know ourselves. Therefore haw Peace, let us cry about our reality, the Ethiopian government have already out of the woods and found the right political recourse for the Ethiopian people. Look Ethiopians are talking about democratic election and the Ethiopian people will be exercising their democratic right in few days or weeks. We have a government (if you call it a government) that enslave our youth, no rule of law and any constitutional due process, no election. Now instead of talking about our reality we are talking about the political process in Ethiopia. Any development in Ethiopia is for Ethiopians and wish them every success and stability hoping to make certain influence in the region. Don’t worry of Ethiopia and Ethiopians they are in a good hand. Let us deal with our reality.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Peace!

            Dear Emma,

            I didn’t say I am worried about Ethiopia. Nonetheless, the discussion with Mizan was regarding Economic integration of neighbors which by the way it is an issue you often raise in this forum. If you follow the discussion, I said developed and prosper Ethiopia is Good for Eritrea; in fact, Eritreans contributed with their blood to the current stability of Ethiopia.

            Now the discussion here is not about EPLF or ELF, it is about Economic integration in this contemporary globalized world. I travel to addis often for business, guess what? despite your claim that Ethiopia heavly invested on new ports in Djibouti, the need for Eritrea is still remains urgent. The port of Dijibouti is far enough to meet the needed capacity to host a supply of 92 million people, let alone in terms of cost. Please I am not here trying to imply the notion that Ethiopia cannot live without Eritrea, but what I am saying is the relation between these two countries is for mutual benefit.

            Last but not least, our cousins, minority TPLF, also need a back door in case of the majority Oromo and Amhara rise and demand freedom and liberty.

            Regards

          • Abi

            Hi peace
            Are you saying your cousins might demand freedom and liberty in the future? Why? Please tell me more.
            Thanks

          • Peace!

            Dear Abi,

            Dont you live in Diaspora? Or, you just don’t pay attention to what Oromo and Amhara communities are saying?

            Regards

          • Abi

            Hi Peace
            What are the diaspora saying. AWATE is my community. What did I miss?

          • Peace!

            Dear Abi,

            I could have responded the same way, but the moderator would accuse me of being a one liner. I have already disappointed SJ for being aggressive on the opposition Groups.

            Regards

          • tes

            Dear Peace!

            You are only aggressive to your ownself.

            tes

          • Abi

            I think SG is also interested to know your theory as to why your cousins might want their freedom. it must be a juicy theory . I can’t wait.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear peace,

            As your name signifies, I have no doubt you are a peace seeker for both brotherly people. I can only share my wish with you, that I hope we will have an amicable regime that understand cooperation, understand what real diplomacy means in regional politics, and above all what peace could generate mutual economic growth with our important neighbor “Ethiopia”. Again don’t worry about TPLF, their brothers, the amhara people, the gala people, the wolamo people, the south-somali people will take care their issue. After all their issue is common and will challenge it together. Peace they have created a new reality to their people. Let us think how do we utilize our ports to generate income that can alleviate the hardship of our people.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Saleh Johar

            Emma,
            I am sure it is an innocent mistake, “Gala” is derisive. They are called Oromo.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu saleh,
            Thank you very much it is really innocent mistake. I apologize for my mistake for anyone I gave a bad feeling. Thank again my friend.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • አዲስ

            Hi Amanuel,

            It’s strange to make that kind of mistake. Considering your comments in this forum, I don’t believe you are an ill wishing person toward Ethiopians and you apologize so we move on.

            While we are on the subject Peace raised which is the port issue and this is my genuine question to all Eritreans and Ethiopians, do you really believe there will be a LASTING peace while the question of Assab remains an issue with Ethiopians? I know most Eritreans will say that’s a question of sovereignty and will not entertain it for a second, but it’s still an issue with equal amount or may be more of Ethiopians(legal access right to the sea). I believe part(not all) of the reason among others that EPRDF is not following up with EEBC ruling is that it would confirm the Italian colonial border, thereby loosing Assab forever. I believe EPRDF do not want to solve this issue and want to leave it to the next generation, however long in the future that may be. For me it will remain an issue between the two countries. So what do you say?

            Thanks.

          • Pass the salt

            Hello Addis,
            While awaiting Emma’s response:
            I don’t believe eprdf dragging its feet on the border ruling is its second thought on the issue of Assab. I say this for two reasons, one because eprdf’s position in this regard has been strong and consistent. I don’t believe there is a shift of policy. Secondly, your government has agreed to go ahead and start with de marketing ALL uncontested areas (including Assab). It is that government of ours that refused demarcation unless started on Badme.
            Having said that, as patriotic Eritrean as I consider myself to be, I believe Ethiopia’s needs for port should be acknowledged and addressed in a way that benefits my country as well. I realize Assab to Ethiopia isn’t exactly what Nile to Egypt is, but still it is the most natural outlet than any other ports in the region.
            So, I am all for Ethiopia’s uninterrupted use of Assab so long it is done in a win win situation to both sides.
            PS. I didn’t know what Amanuel said was offensive either.

          • አዲስ

            Hi Pass the salt,

            I am not saying it’s dragging its feet entirely because of the question of Assab. It’s part of it. I believe the whole border demarcation process when done officially will raise again the question of Assab and as you said with EPRDF’s clear and consistent stance that Assab is not Ethiopia’s , they are stuck in this quagmire of unpopularity at home and their believe.
            Just like you, I am hoping for a win win solution. I don’t know how that will come with regard to Assab and access to the sea to Ethiopia.

            With regard to what Amanuel said , well now you know.

            Thanks.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Addis,

            I can’t add more to what “Pass the salt” has stated genuinely, that are congruently matched to my long held views regarding the port issues. I have no question (hopefully) that the port issue will be addressed in away both countries could benefit from them (Ethiopia to use them an outlet & Eritrea get revenue from them as custom duty) after the replacement of the current regime.

            Second Addis I heard from late PM Meles (which I admire his intellect greatly) that the great psychological change EPRDF has made in the mindset of Ethiopian people, was to erase wrong belief that “Ethiopia can’t survive without Eritrea”. For a country blessed with human resources and natural resources can’t be entangled with such wrong conceptions. Ethiopia is not the first and the last land locked country in the world. There are many. Ports, like other resources are the source of fund to the countries who own the ports, like the “grand Ethiopian renaissance dam” which will become the great source of fund for the Ethiopian developments in all economic sectors.

            Third, in the era of global economy, the rule of engagement is completely changed. Goods and services must get transit without hinderrance, global citizenship and regional citizenship are finding traction if not in our region in other parts of the world. Sooner or later we will be influenced by the inevitabilities that are set on the horizon. So Addis contemplate only on the new realities and how to get use of them. In this Era there is no a country that could exist in isolation, it is interconnected and there are rules that governs them. Ethiopia and Eritrea will survive from the current bad relationship. I can assure you that.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Peace!

            Hi Emma,

            Thank you I am glad you understood me, and yes the hardship of our people should be our priority. It is too bad that it seems every attempt to achieve change has miserably failed or come short. You probably read my frustration here in this forum with the oppositions’ performance for not moving an inch forward despite the continuing suffering of our people. I am afraid it looks like change will not come from Ethiopia, Sudan, or Yemen. We are stuck, and nothing seems to bubble from outside.

            Regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Peace,

            If the fate of our nation is not clear now, in regard the opposition and the change we all desire it, we will still continue to create the “objective reality” for change, for without that nothing will happen. We are becoming closer and closer in reading our reality. Good progress peace.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear peace
            Happy independence day
            The bubble will come from inside. It’s brewing up. What all good wishing Eritreans need to do is to Be an Empowering agent for the people inside the country. Give hopes and tools to the youth so that they become agents of change, a change they control.

          • Peace!

            Dear Mahmuday,
            Like wise, Happy Independence Day (Glory to our Martyrs)!!

            Given sustainable change will only come from within, I am more hopeful than ever that a change we control is not far away. Distractions, conspiracies, and all tired assertions are pretty much exhausted.

            regards

          • Hayat Adem

            Emma,
            Since you are now aware I suggest you replace or remove the word.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Eyobay, Hayat, Addis,

            Again friends, I apologize for using in appropriate words (names). Frankly, I wasn’t aware that they are derisive words. Human being is always in the process of learning. This is part of it and I learn from my mistakes. Thank you guys. Saleh run quick to correct me and edit it. I edited it now by removing the parentheses.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Eyob Medhane

            Aman,

            Welamo is also derisive and very much insulting. The people are called ‘Wolayta’. These phrases have real meanings and are very hurtful to people. I join Hayat in requesting you to edit them out and replace them…

            Thank you

  • selam

    Dear awatista

    These could be hardly election when you silence your opponents, no need to spend millions on fake election at all.
    Good only on the eyes of the EPRDF, a complet tragedy on the fold . Waww Gedeb news , are you running a cover up for the
    EPRDF ? Just to make your wish ideal , does the 99.6 or as you put it 60 opposition parties to which are….? One point is clear any party is a criminal in ethiopia unless you bow to EPRDF , you seem to run only the cover not the details . Please reshape your editorials when it comes to democracy , you should be critical of every thing . Ruling party from 1994 to 2015 ? By the way what do these EUROPEANS demand ? Any hint on their demand ?
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/22/ethiopia-2015-election-eprdf-medrek

    http://blog.wan-ifra.org/2014/05/28/ethiopia-tightens-its-grip-on-media-ahead-of-2015-elections

    • Nitricc

      Hi Selam; at least TPLF this time around they are ready for any up-rising. They have trained their police force with cutting age tech to squash any problems that might emerge.

      http://i0.wp.com/mereja.com/album/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/ethiopian-federal-police-cartoon-1429946840g8n4k.png?zoom=1.5&fit=250%2C4096

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Nitricc,
        Wow, you know what is going on in Ethiopia. But do you know those in the list are all Ethiopians? I mean Ethiopians are with Ethiopians. If Eritrea plan to make election (which will never happen under PFDJ) who do you think will defend your “government” ? I don’t know the name of the crowed who work with PFD is that DEMEHIT?

      • selam

        Dear Nitricc

        Yes I know , but this is what election in Africa looks like . They give you a box with a whole shaped triangle for the ruling party and the card you hold on your hand are square and triangle. If you want to choose the square , you will not find a box to put it ,so you end up taking your card home.That is what is going on in the weyane regime .

      • tes

        Dear Nitricc,

        Yes, it has to train skilled security to run things as planned. PFDJ trains none and does none except jailing and closing.

        A country is measured on how it can secure its peace and perform what is planned. In Eritrea under PFDJ regime, everything is upside down. No security and No plan. Gosh!

        tes

    • Peace!

      Selam,

      We call them “Election After The Fact!” The U.S. Has already signaled that it will endorse the projected landslide victory by EPRDF. So it is interesting to look back and listen to what DIA said to the Aljazeera reporter when he asked him about election, his response was “what Election?” So it is totally fair question to ask ourselves what kind of election we are demanding Eritrea to hold?

      • selam

        Dear peace
        While I do believe American people have no choice except the two main party , you should put in to context only the independent decide the election of a president. In africa there is no way that you will find an independent voter , they all are rammed to the point where they do not even have a hope. EPRDF are having a national theater where they are the comedians and also the audience. They do not have any questions to be asked by the people. If you ask they shoot you which is the same to PFDJ nothing is different . You see IA could have done the same but he is quite greedy for power and he has no love lost to the Eritrean people at all. What I am wondering is the people who are clapping over the dead body of the Oromo people.

        • Peace!

          Dear Selam,

          Not only that what about the 300+ innocent university students murdered by late Meles Zenawi in a broad daylight just because they protest peacefully against the fruadlant political election?

          Regards

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear awate team (AT),

    This is an impressive news analysis about Ethiopian election since the first election in 1995. In the last 20 years Ethiopia and the ruling party EPRDF have registered an impressive development both politically and economically, taking a point of reference the predecessor regimes of Ethiopia. Though the development is more impressive in the economic growth than the political one, We can’t fail to notice, the practice of rule of law and the respect of their federal constitution, the devolvement of power to the periphery where the people of Ethiopia execised to elect national and local leaders, the relative free press and competive elections even if it is in its rudimentary stage. Ethiopia’s trajectory development is promissing in all sectors from rationale non-Ethiopian speculators. In a nutshell your report is encapsulated in the following paragraph of your report:
    “But his promise has been kept as new faces replaced most of the old guard in senior government positions–the replacement was even hastened after his departure and Ethiopian government officials are steadily becoming younger and more diverse. At the same time, the country is registering a steady double digit economic growth and expanding its middle class. In addition, the EPRDF has about succeeded in changing the negative perception and transforming the long held image of a famished country, with impressive results. A reasonable win by the opposition would be considered a win for Ethiopian democracy and will enhance the efforts of re-positioning of the country”.
    The above quoted paragraph is a nicely and measured account on the ground and the trajectory trend of Ethiopian development. The Ethiopian people will lose sight to a regime that focuse to erradicate poverty and encourage foreign and domestic investment. No question the economic development will be an excellent conduit to the developement of democratic institution. We wish them a successful democratic election.
    regards,
    Amanuel Hidrat
    .

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Derar Readers,
      Correction, Please read as ” The ethiopian people will not lose sight to a regime that focuse……………” “not” is missed in it. I could not edit it when I enter as “guest.”

  • haileTG

    Hi L.T

    A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything. That was Malcom X and not Malcom going to mark his X on the ballet but when he was aiming the bullet. At the age of 80+ you’ll be as flexible as Mugabe to literally roll on the red carpet like a pet. You’ll vote for IA, slightly younger than 120 and ab brku zestenfs gobez. Photo zula will be out of business by then because IA would still be using his pics from his much younger days when he was 88. What do u think about Lbey Mea’duley temeles beluley song for an 80+ who just had heart transplant surgery?

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear Editor/Author,
    I wonder if the “winner takes it all” rule is unfair. I’m saying this because the 99.6% seat win doesn’t reflect the reality of the voting stat. EPRDF could have won many of the election constituencies by only handful votes against its competitors. In Addis, I am told the opposition altogether may have won more votes in aggregation than what EPRDF won. Had it not be for their separate tickets, they could have outseated EPRDF in many parts. The leading opposition, Forum, alone won more than 250 thousand votes of the Addis residents. EPRDF won every election station by marginal edges. But since they don’t share the seats proportionate to the votes each earned, one single vote could enable one party to take all of it.

    • teweldino

      Hi Hayat,

      Yes, the First Pass The Post (FPTP) system is very simple but one the least representative electoral systems. It is possible for a political party to win 100% of seats with less that 50% popular vote. In the 1970 England a government with less percentage of popular vote was able to win more parliament seats and form a government. You only need your voters to be efficiently distributed to win seats in such systems. With all its faults, FPTP usually results in stable governments unlike the other fairer system of proportional representation where parties get seats according to the percentage of popular vote they won. Such systems will usually result in coalitions or weaker minority governments.

      • Amde

        Selam Hayat/Teweldino

        Check this out….
        http://www.bbc.com/news/election-2015-32601281

        • teweldino

          Hi Amde,

          Thanks for the link. It is amazing how 3.9 million votes earned UK Independent Party only one seat while 11.3 million votes (less than 3 times of UK Independent Party votes) gave the Conservative Party 330 seats and a chance to form a government. FPTP really sucks! I wonder what percentage of the popular vote earned the EPRDF 99.6% of the seats in the parliament?

  • Hayat Adem

    Dearest L.T,
    If we can conduct a better election than the Weyanes’, that will be great. That is if you can get the first winning spot in an athletic championship, that is the best. If not aim for the 2nd, or 3rd spots,…10th spot….23rd spot…If not at least participate and finish the course. If you can’t participate and run the amount of distance your legs can carry and call it a day. If not at least participate in the start line. That is an honor, too because there are a lot of qualification works that must be done to get you there. You couldn’t do that this time, fine: at least plan earnestly to prepare yourself for the coming championship now, not later. You see now what it takes to get there? To run credible and clean elections today or tomorrow, you should be doing something towards that today. The culture of election itself, the talk of election itself is something we all should be envying. Like anything else, clean elections must be learned, not born.
    Ali Abdu used to say, we don’t want ballot boxes in the morning turned to coffin boxes in the afternoon. The truth is they don’t have to be and any election deaths are to be regretted and regretted strongly. That part is clear. However, I don’t how one only wants to highlight the 200 lives lost in 2005 election to scare away public election interests while ignoring the 10k harsh-condition incarcerations and deaths; fleeing deaths that are happening under no election.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear L.T
    so when you reach 80 IA will be around 100+. if you are alive (wishing you long life), and if still no election and the man is dead(hope fully he will die before you do) he will govern you from hell. is that okay? I think it is okay, than to have election like Weyane.
    form hell? you asked, what makes it different aren’t we in hell anyhow!!

  • Nitricc

    Hahahahah Funny TPLF style election. Here is a point to pounder …..
    “The two elections have fundamentally exhibited similar characters…the first one started and ended peacefully…the second one started peacefully and ended in violence…in the first elections the opposition progressed from 12 to 170 [parliament] seats, while in the second they regressed from 170 seats to one. While the ruling party greatly suffered in 2005 and it has thrived in 2010. In the two elections held in five year period…what are the reasons for such highly unparalleled results?”
    And this one is ….. say what?

    http://newscontent.thaivisa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/10091005/milk-cow-thailand-300×182.png

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Nitricc,
      I don’t know the answer. I am on the way to find out. on my journey finding out one truth still joins me. And that is
      Ethiopia who went for long under federalists and for 17 years under fascism have developed to one level – and people are talking about election. wrong or right the culture of choosing your administration is starting while Eritrea is still under ox with sharp horn.

      • Hayat Adem

        Kokhobay,
        Eritrea was not like that in the near past. It was arguably the first plural democracy of Africa. Hailessilassie slashed it, the Derg dragged it and PFDJ ditched it. And now we have to undo it all the way up to get it back in its feet again.

      • Nitricc

        Hi KS. The difference between you and I is that you believe in bullshit and fake and me I see the reality in the ground. I see the little people; the poor and the neglected. What is this election bull crap to the people who can’t even drink a clean water? What is an election that is done to appease the westerners? What is the point wasting all that money and time conducting fake and already rigged election? How about the resource that is wasted on this fake election; instead used to this people to have clean water? Africa does not need election or democracy; it needs clean water and bread.
        “Not Everything that is Faced Can be Changed; But Nothing Can be Changed Untill it is Faced!”
        Start to face the truth people???????? And the truth is look at those people; yes, take a look. Get this to your head this will never happen in Eritrea.

        http://econewsnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/ethiopia-water-crisis-3.jpg

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Nitiricc,
          our difference isn’t that big. I didn’t know among those 85M people there are some who didn’t get water right in their accommodation. My bad, I only know Eritrean towns have shortage of water. In fact we are better as we have Mediterranean sea (which is almost part of Eritrea – we will have to claim it as we have thousands of heroes dead for their freedom -Lol)

          • Abel

            Dear Kokhob Selam,
            Never mind, Nitiricc Amiche has never been to Eritrea, he was born and raised in Ethiopia till he migrated to NA. He has this virtual Eritrea with modern European amenities in his mind.

        • Hayat Adem

          Hey the Honorable Fearless Nitricc,
          You made it sound as if water supply is threatened by election! Do you have a view that wherever there is election, there is no water or vice versa, Actually, elections can help in looking for a party with a better plan and delivery on solving water problems as well.
          Nitricc, which party and its views would you vote for from among the following views:
          a) one that says that water should not be expected to come to where people are; people should go to where the water is.
          b) one that envisions every Eritrean to own three houses: one in Asmara, another one in the rural, and one more in the coast.
          c) one that who says to make a priority for people to attend light weapon training sessions before they attend their crops.
          d) One who says we need 3-4 decades or more to hold elections
          e) all of the above
          f) none of the above