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Ethiopia's ODP building alliances with opposition in Oromia

Ethiopia's ODP building alliances with opposition in Oromia

Ethiopia

<p>The ruling bloc in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, the Oromo Democratic Party, <span class="caps">ODP</span>, continues building political alliances with competing parties ahead of elections slated for 2020.</p> <p><span class="caps">ODP</span>’s spokesperson, Taye Dendea, confirmed this information to the Voice of America’s Amharic service. He said the party was preparing to enter talks with over ten parties that shared a similar political agenda and plan of action. </p> <p>Dendea added that further talks were being held with the Oromo Liberation Front, an ex-rebel group that <a href="http://www.africanews.com/2018/09/16/like-pg7-ethiopia-govt-welcomes-oromo-liberation-front-back-home/" target="_blank">returned from Eritrea </a> after a peace deal was signed between the two countries in July this year.</p> <p><span class="caps">ODP</span> led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed <a href="http://www.africanews.com/2018/11/28/ethiopia-oromo-parties-odp-and-odf-merge-ahead-of-2020-vote/" target="_blank">recently agreed a deal </a> with the Oromo Democratic Front, <span class="caps">ODF</span>, led by Lencho Leta. The merger was announced in late November after a meeting between Leta and Oromia region president Lemma Megerssa.</p> <p>The 2020 elections will be the first vote after Abiy began his sweeping reforms aimed at opening the country’s political and democratic space.</p> <p>Abiy, an Oromo, has pledged to ensure that the vote is free, fair and credible and has stated publicly that he will handover power if the ruling Ethiopia Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front, <span class="caps">EPRDF</span>, lost.</p> <p>He has held talks with registered opposition groups and nominated a new elections chief to undertake reforms of the electoral body in the lead up to the polls. Birtukan Mideksa, a former judge and political dissident has been praised as being a right fit for the job.</p> <p><strong>The Ethiopia People Revolutionary Democratic Front comprises four main blocs:</strong></p> <ul> <li>The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (<span class="caps">TPLF</span>).</li> <li>The Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (<span class="caps">OPDO</span>) now Oromo Democratic Party.</li> <li>The Amhara National Democratic Movement (<span class="caps">ANDM</span>) now Amhara Democratic Party.</li> <li>The Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement, <span class="caps">SEPDM</span>.</li> </ul>
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