May 28: the turning point in Ethiopian history
Tesfaye Lemma 05-30-17
No one imagines that, Ethiopia would be at its present status. That was because its economy was extremely decorated and its peace was also poisoned. Law and order were violated and the situation in the country seems a ground that could lead it to disintegrated and bloodshed at the time of the fall of the military rule and the coming of Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front into power with more than 17 armed groups in the country, who had different interests.
Now, it is just two decades and half. Last Sunday, May 28, 2017, Ethiopians throughout the country celebrated the 26th anniversary of the victory, the turning point in the country’s entire situation, in a bid to strengthen their massive national success and to vow once again to join hands and face the challenges of bad governance, rent seeking, extremism and chauvinism, which the country has encountered with amid its achievements.
May 28 is the turning point of the Ethiopian socioeconomic and political arena. It is a unique day that offered light to the dark and gloomy situation engulfed the country for decades.
It is an unforgettable history that altogether altered the country’s scenario. Weak working culture, poor diplomatic relation, hostile internal situations, dire poverty, deteriorated economy, insecure arena and entire dark atmosphere to industrial work culture, fruitful diplomacy, secured and stable situation, hopeful, encouraging, prosperous light environment.
As a turning juncture, May 28 will in fact remain being memorable in the minds and hearts of the living Ethiopians and the posterity for its gains. It is undeniable that the socio-economic and political gains nearly in the past three decades are so remarkable.
The political arena has also shifted from aggressive, dictatorial, unitary rule to participatory, peaceful, multiparty and democratic system where nations, nationalities and peoples enjoy equal opportunities, hoping a bright and prosperous future respect among each other, stood together in building their country so as to realize its renaissance.
Nations, nationalities and peoples have retained their political sovereignty; exercising their political power since 1995. Besides, the multiparty system emanated from the Federal System of the country paved ways for citizens to organize themselves in various political parties and participate in their country's political, economic and social affairs.
The first historical, free, fair and democratic election was held in 1995 in which about 57 political parties have participated, which both historically and politically a landmark election the country had experienced for the first time in its history.
Five years later, the second national election took place in the country, in which about 49 political parties competed. In 2005, Ethiopians once again had their national election with 36 contesting political parties.
The number of political parties has raised to 63 in the fourth national election, which was held in 2010 then to 67 in the fifth national election. In all these elections the people used their political power in electing their leaders free of any imposition.
It is tangible that the democratic arena has been widening from time to time. Political parties in the country managed to come together to argue on the political, economic and social affairs. In fact, recently, this dialogue has reached at a constructive agreement that could benefit citizens.
These political parties used the chance to explore all possibilities to sit round a table and negotiate on issues of national concerns and reached at an amicable agreement. The consecutive engagements they hold in the past few months helped them to identify the challenges and opportunities on the ground that they could face while taking the country a step ahead economically and politically, which strengthened their willingness to take part on that negotiation. This is another significant achievement of the victory of May 28 and the advent of the developmental and democratic system in the country.
In line with public political sovereignty, the right to press freedom and opinion expressions is respected. It was legally guaranteed by the Ethiopian constitution, which was endorsed by all nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia.
Despite some challenges in using the rights properly, the public got an opportunity to disseminate their ideas, opinions on the socio-economic and political concerns of their country.
The country's economic stride is another manifestation of May 28. The Agricultural Development Led Industrialization (ADLI) Policy of the country coupled with the commitment of the government and the people have been contributing in pulling the country out of the quagmire of poverty.
Incredibly, Ethiopia’s economic growth rates double digit for the past ten consecutive years. As a result, poverty has reduced significantly in those years. Its economic achievement is, in fact, highly intertwined with its fruitful efforts of ensuring lasting peace and stability at home and in the volatile horn region.
The government has considered peace and security as preconditions for creating healthy economic progress cognizant of the impossibility of developing the economy being in a war zone. Besides, the country's foreign policy, founded on mutual development and prosperity, has been significantly contributing to the overall development.
While celebrating the 26th anniversary of May 28 today, the entire people vowed once again to face the challenges the country has encountered with and scale up all the gains for maximum public benefit.
These achievements become realities due to the consolidated efforts of all nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia, the prudent of the government and the political commitment of the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) with the advent of May 28. Now they once again renewed their promise to enhance gains and face the challenges the country has encountered amid its forward move.