By Neamin Ashenafi
The two parties, Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ) and Forum for Democratic Dialogue in Ethiopia (Medrek), which used to work together in the opposition block of the country, has ended their relationship and have officially separated as of November 20 due to the differences between the parties.
These two parties were working together for the past six years and their relationship was at odds after a speech, which was delivered by former president of UDJ Gizachew Shiferaw (Eng.), advocated for a merger than continuing with the party in the form of a front or a coalition.
In this regard, Medrek demanded a correction of that speech and suspended the party temporarily on its ninth general assembly which was held last year. However, UDJ declined to do so and argued that the speech was delivered by the president as a personal opinion which does not represent the party.
The disagreement between these two parties continued till the tenth general assembly which was held on November 8 and the newly-elected president of Medrek, Beyene Petros (Prof.), told The Reporter that the suspension is still in place and nothing has changed in that regard. However, the president underscored the fact that UDJ still has some time to correct its mistakes and rejoin the front before the deadline – the November 24.
Since the deadline given by Medrek has expired and nothing has changed the relationship between the two parties stopped, and in this regard head of public relations of Medrek, Tilahun Endeshaw, confirmed to The Reporter that the two parties have now officially separated.
By the same token, the speaker of the national council of UDJ, Abebe Akalu, told The Reporter that the relationship between the two parties had stopped and UDJ will continue its activities individually as of November 20.
The Reporter asked both leaders that since it is election year, whether the separation harmed the activities of the parties and weaken the general opposition block. In this regard, both replied that it would hamper activities but there was no other option.
“It will affect us, but it is better to separate than to work with some defects. Therefore, UDJ preferred to stop its relation and to work individually with all its capabilities,” Abebe told The Reporter.
Tilahun, on his part, said, “The separation affects the parties but this is done deliberately by individuals who wanted to weaken both Medreek and UDJ and in this regard their mission is accomplished and Medrek will go individually and work hard in the future.”
Apart from this both leaders of the party underlined that they are well prepared to render their struggles individually.