Haile Tessema, Dec 06, 2018
Political leaders belonging to one party ought to convey the same / similar message or, at least, not contradict themselves.
After all, there is such a thing called cabinet solidarity (in opposition a “shadow cabinet”) whereby politicians of the same party would fight it out in closed doors, yet show strong solidarity by speaking in one voice when appearing in public functions and speaking to the media.
Yet, that hasn’t been the case in the Arena party lately, particularly when it comes to party leader Abraha Desta and Kidane Amene who seem to sing and dance to differing tunes.
This raises the question, is what's currently at play a premeditated and scripted yet poorly performed political ploy to have it both ways, and appeal to people on each side of the regional border? Or indicative of a house divided that will show its crack and eventual division which inevitably will come to the open sooner or later?
Only leaders of the party know the answer, but what is for certain is either venue would undoubtedly lead to the party’s demise. If so, seeing the end of Arena – a party that stood up to TPLF with courage and resoluteness in a time when it was politically inconceivable and personally perilous to do so – would be a travesty, and a disservice to the people of Tigrai who deserve to have a party that has become a household name as an alternative.
Thus, it’s high time for Arena leadership to hold a meeting aimed to iron out its differences; emphasize party discipline and solidarity; reprimand leaders who don’t adhere to party policy and platform thereby put the party’s electability at risk; make leadership change if need be, and prepare the party for next election that is due in less than a year and half.
Failing that, making shady backroom wheeling and dealing; counting on a side door entry to power with anticipated help from external forces would be a historic blunder that, in the end, would not come to pass anyway.
Instead, not only will it destroy the party once and for all, but compel power hopefuls to commit political suicide like the biblical Judas Iscariot who betrayed his Lord Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver (fatefully, the singer’s “ለሠላሳ ዲናር ሊያጣ ነፍስ ይማር” lyric would be perfectly fitting – the silver representing the thirst and hunger for power).
In closing, crying wolf and blaming election result will not help the party and its future. The only good that will come out of it would be a lesson for future politicians to learn not to depend on outside power particularly one that shows contempt for one’s people; works hand and glove with enemies, and does not respect the identity and territorial integrity of Tigrai.