In scathing remarks to parliament, Gedu Andargachew levied criticism at the ruling Prosperity Party’s governance approach. Gedu, a former Amhara regional president, foreign minister and prime ministerial security advisor, has largely receded from the political scene since last year.
Addressing lawmakers on the Amhara emergency vote, Gedu cited the administration’s tendency to favor “force over dialogue.”
Gedu, who helped lead reform efforts following Hailemariam Desalegn’s resignation, stated repeated state of emergency decrees fail to address underlying issues in Ethiopia. Achieving solutions demands open public discussion, not edicts or crackdowns, he insisted.
The people of Amhara oppose the “dysfunctional governance” of party leaders, not the Ethiopian National Defense Force itself, according to Gedu.
In harshly indicting language, Gedu declared the Prosperity Party-led administration in the region had “collapsed.” He urged embracing political and civil participation to properly address public grievances.
As Gedu advocated to Parliament that they should reject ratifying the state of emergency for Amhara, some MPs interrupted him claiming he was not adhering to procedure. Maintaining a pleasant demeanor, the ex-minister replied “It would have been good if you let me finish [my argument.]
Despite his former senior role advising the Prime Minister, Gedu struggled to convince many legislators. Still, he persisted in objecting to the emergency decree approval.
However, his appeals that they not pass the declaration appeared to have little impact on most of the assembled representatives.
Outnumbered, Gedu’s opposition to ratifying the measures did not prevent a sizable majority from endorsing the state of emergency.
Of the 360 members of Parliament present during the session, 332 voted to pass the state of emergency declaration for the Amhara region, with 16 votes in opposition. A further 12 MPs chose to abstain.