One would first ask why democratic elections in Europe go so well and ours in Ethiopia go so embarrassingly bad given that we had been one of the oldest civilizations?
The decent and enviable election held on 06 May 2010 in the United Kingdom (UK) and themassively rigged election of 23 May 2010 in Ethiopia culminating in the embarrassing 99.6% ‘win’ for the TPLF/EPRDDF Party of tyrant Meles Zenawi stand in sharp contrast as we look back and note the process and the results of both elections held in the month of May.
A series of open public debates were held for the first time in the United Kingdom moderated by competent personalities. For the first time in the history of the UK the leaders at the helm of three major parties faced each other on live televised debate. Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the Labor Party, David Cameron of the Conservative Party and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democratic Party locked horns on a wide range of issues relevant to the electorates. Each leader of his Party ably and passionately articulated his position on an issue addressing his opponent by his first name reflecting previous good and principled working relationships in the best interest of their parties and country. The atmosphere was cordial and exemplary worth emulating. The question of fair, free and credible election did not arise, not to say was unthinkable.
The series of debates in the UK stood in sharp contrast to the debates held in Ethiopia in a closed session between four walls supervised by agents or loyalist employees and cadres of the ruling party. Only edited videos of the debates were broadcast to the public. The ruling party abundantly used state resources in the campaign. There was no level playing field as verified by the European Union Observer Mission (EU-OM). All conceivable atrocities were committed by the TPLF/EPRDF Party to demoralize or incapacitate the oppositions.
Coalition government in UK since 1974
The Conservative Party failed to win the magic 326 seats out of 650 constituencies for an outright majority to govern. So the best option was to form a coalition government for the first time since 1974 and the second after World War II. Negotiations were efficiently done in a cordial atmosphere leading to the coalition between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democratic Party. Prime Minister Brown heeded public opinion and swiftly resigned to make way for the coalition. Realism, heeding public opinion and above all the best interest of the country took the center-stage in this exercise. This sequence of events in the UK election should serve as a lesson to the African Union and greedy dictators on the vast and rich continent where black people in particular live under abject poverty and political oppression
Prime Minister David Cameron immediately announced three principles that would guide the leadership of the Coalition: Freedom, Fairness and Responsibility. Her Majesty the Queen confirmed the same in Her speech at the colorful inaugural ceremony of the new parliament of Her Government.
The continued financial support following election 2005 had encouraged the genocidal and tribal tyrant Meles to rig the election of 2010 on the watch of generous donors including especially the UK and the USA. The result announced by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) is 99.6% ‘win’ for his brutal TPLF/EPRDF party – an embarrassing result to the donors and humiliating shame to the ruling regime and an affront to the intelligence of the global community.
It is reported that 14 ‘major’ opposition parties have accepted the result of the election, according to their joint statement of 02 June 2010 which appeared on the Sudan Tribune – vide http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php? article 35271.
One wonders how many votes of the remaining 0.4% each of these 14 ‘major’ parties received from their supporters and asks what the criteria was to be classified as a ‘major’ opposition party given that over 60 parties contested in election 2010.
The grand lie of the ruling thugs shall unfold until and as soon the final report comes out on 21 June 2010 for the inevitable scrutiny by stakeholders and the global community. In the meantime intellectual prostitutes keep increasingly active covering up the heinous crimes of Meles including genocide: they are hell-bent on their futile drive to create a personality cult of the tyrant. It is the saddest era in the history of Ethiopia for her citizens to live under tyranny.
Coming to the point
One now comes to the point why the UK election is relevant to this piece. It is to make a strong plea to Prime Minister Cameron and D/Prime Minister Clegg to recall the damage done by the former Tony Blair in unabashedly supporting a genocidal and tribal leader who declared a state of emergency to steal votes in order to avoid the crushing defeat that he suffered at the polls. Mr. Blair invited the tyrant to the meeting of the Group of 8 in Scotland and gave him a red carpet reception while mothers, fathers, siblings and close friends were mourning the death of their loved ones indiscriminately killed by security forces under the direct command of Meles for peacefully protesting against stolen ‘victory’. It is therefore imperative to plead with the Coalition government to demonstrate its three principles to take effect in dealing with tyrant Meles who has committed well documented heinous crime including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity; it is to plea not to accept his 99.6% ‘victory’ in the recent election of 23 May 2005; it is a plea not to invite it is a plea not to channel direct budgetary support to the killing machine of the repressive TPLF Party pervading all aspects of life of the Ethiopian people.
One would earnestly hope that: the principles of Freedom, Fairness and Responsibility will cut across both the domestic and foreign policies of the Coalition Government; there would be no double standards in applying the tenets of democracy uniformly in our global village and; the moral and material support rendered by the former Labor Government to genocidal and tribal Meles should not continue for giving precedence to short-term interest over long-term interest of solid relationship with the Ethiopian people.
The recent statement that the management of foreign aids will be closely scrutinized to ensure that they will be utilized for the intended purpose of development is most welcome.
An invitation to the White House or number 10 Downing Street in London or Group of 8 or Group 20 meetings elsewhere is considered carte blanche approval by African leaders to rule their people as they see fit. Their media outlets deafen the people with the propaganda of how the despotic leaders rubbed shoulders at receptions with the powerful leaders of the democratic world. This is one of the shameful ways the propaganda machine is working in Ethiopia for brainwashing citizens!
So, powerful leaders of Western democracy in the coming G20 meeting this month in Canada should: not become propaganda tool to Meles known for his rampant breach of his imposed constitution; give him a stern warning, not a pat on the back: not reward him again for making mockery of democracy, agitating dangerous civil strife and regional instability.
Opposition parties that have condemned the election result and called for a re-run should be congratulated and supported all the way: morally, diplomatically, materially and financially. Chances are that they are prepared to fight the repressive regime in court. They have irrefutable hard evidences to do that. A series of meticulously planned, organized, and coordinated massive civil strikes will then follow if demands are not met.
Birtukan Mideksa and hundreds of political prisoners are languishing in filthy jails in Ethiopia even as the brutal ruling TPLF/EPRDF Party is celebrating its ‘victory’. Therefore it is very wrong and morally untenable for donors to let tax money flow directly to the treasury of tyrant Meles who is unabashed in decimating democracy.
The regime is already immersed in contradictions trying to justify its ‘victory’ of 99.6% which the international community has not accepted. Ethiopians at home & in the Diaspora should intensify their multifaceted struggle in unison to pressure the donors to withhold direct financial assistance to the regime.
There are more vital issues that are in common between MEDREK and AEUP than petty differences which appeared to divide them so far. These two should collaborate closely.