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The next big debate within and around Kinijit

The controversy and heated debates caused by the recent dictatorial behavior of Hailu Shawel, instigated and promoted by the EPRP-Shaleqa unholy alliance, will soon be dwarfed by another issue — the upcoming local election in Ethiopia.

Next April, in about 7 months from now, there will be kebele, woreda and zonal elections in Ethiopia. Kinijit has not decided whether to participate in the elections. The leaders have put off the decision until they return from their worldwide tour. But Ethiopian Review believes that the discussion must start now, and Ethiopians in the Diaspora must take an active part in the debate.

Ato Hailu Shawel said in an interview with Abyssinia Radio on Saturday that unless Kinijit’s 8-point conditions are met by Woyanne, the party will not participate in the elections. As every one is fixated on the dispute between Ato Hailu and the executive committee, very few people may have paid attention to what he said. But it seems that Ato Hailu has already made a decision on this matter on behalf of Kinijit without the party’s central council had a chance to deliberate on it.

Putting aside for now Ato Hailu’s ongoing dictatorial behavior — which will be dealt with according to Kinijit’s bylaws when the leaders return home — should Kinijit participate in the upcoming local elections?

Ethiopian Review believes that Kinijit must take part in the elections for the following reasons:

1) If Kinijit wants to remain as an active political party inside the country, elections are the best way for it to communicate with the people and get its message across.

2) The Woyanne repression will be far worse than pre-2005 elections, but Kinijit leaders can bring international pressure to bare upon Woyanne to allow Kinijit access to the state-run media, open its offices through out the country, and organize its local chapters with less restraint.

3) Kinijit will lose local and international credibility if it decides to not participate in the elections.

4) Political parties are organized to participate in elections. If Kinijit is not willing to participate in the upcoming elections it will lose its raison d’être.

Participating in the election does not mean Kinijit has to accept the outcome if gross fraud is committed by Woyanne. Kinijit has correctly rejected the 2005 elections, and it should do so again if the next elections are also fraudulent. Also, by taking part in the elections, it doesn’t mean that Kinijit is accepting the legitimacy of the Woyanne regime, nor the election board, nor the judicial system, but if it chooses to operate inside Ethiopia, it must use every door and window that is open to it to challenge the Woyanne dictatorship.

The Kinijit leadership has learned a lot from the 2005 elections. Many of the mistakes that were committed then hopefully will not be repeated.

Obstacles to the debate

The EPRP losers are desperately trying to infiltrate Kinijit’s leadership through their agent Taye Woldesemayat, a self-proclaimed Kinijit hater. That is their modus operandi. They strive to influence public opinion through infiltration of their opponent’s organizations, fabrications of lies, and insidious propaganda. That is what they have attempted against the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AFD). They had demanded more than one seat in the table. When they could not get that, they walked out and tried to play the patriotism card. The funny thing is that EPRP is the least patriotic organization. In fact, in many occasions it has worked to undermine the national interest of Ethiopia by siding with enemy forces. For example, it is a well known fact that EPRP had collaborated with Somalia’s Siad Barre when he invaded Ethiopia in the late 1970s. It is to be remembered that EPRP agents were poisoning the food that was being prepared by kebele associations to go to Ethiopian troops at the battle front. Woyanne and EPRP had offices in Mogadishu at the time and were coordinating the attack on Ethiopia with Siad Bare. It is this same old EPRP that has been attacking Kinijit in the past few months for joining OLF, ONLF and other groups in calling for national reconciliation.

EPRP and their agent, Dr Taye Woldesemayat — who was kicked out of the Ethiopian Teachers Association last July for refusing to return the money he collected on the association’s behalf — are using to their advantage Ato Hailu Shawel’s poor health and shaky state of mind due to the numerous medicines he is currently taking. They are trying to tell us now that Hailu Shawel is their hero and the other Kinijit leaders are trying to oust him. These lumpens had been vilifying Ato Hailu just a few months ago when the rest of us were carrying his photo and marching in the streets of the capitals of the world demanding his release from jail. Their audacity knows no bound.

Taye and EPRP have already convinced Ato Hailu that he should not continue with the Kinijit leadership. Shortly, he will anoint Taye Woldesemayat as the chairman of Kinijit, or the faction that will follow him, and retire, as he hinted on Abyssinia Radio. It is a done deal as far as Hailu, Taye, EPRP and the shaleqa are concerned. Shaleqa Yoseph and his crooked friends will get what they want out of this — cover up of their corruption.

Let’s move forward

Ato Hailu said himself that he will not continue much longer. So why waste time arguing about him or with him? Let’s focus on other more important issues, such as Kinijit’s role in the upcoming local elections in Ethiopia. It is necessary for the delegations who are currently in the U.S., Europe and Africa to provide the forum for their supporters to express their opinion on this matter. Do the same thing in Ethiopia when they return. Then based on the opinions expressed by Ethiopians in the Diaspora and inside the country, let the central council weigh all the pros and cons and make a decision. What ever decision the Kinijit council makes, all the leaders must support it if they are indeed fighting for genuine democracy.

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