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PM Abiy Ahmed calls on strengthening political parties to build stronger democracy

The new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, invited leaders of opposition parties, civic organizations, and social activists to dinner at the Presidential Palace. He said work should be done to strengthen political parties and build democracy.
Notable opposition leaders like Ledetu Ayalew, Bekele Gerba, Dr. Merarra Gudina, Girma Seifu and Prof. Beyne Petros came to the dinner along with celebrity athletes, Haile Gebreselassie, and Keninessa Bekele.
“For a long time there has not been a strong habit of holding talks and working together for a better democracy in Ethiopia. We have chosen the gun instead of discussions, we have chosen our own way instead of consulting each other. We know through history that division threatens our foreign security. We cannot create a better country unless both government and opposition parties work together for a better democracy.’’
“The truth is plain, that we cannot register sustainable economic growth unless we build a strong political and democratic system in our country, ” he added.
As a government we have a bigger motivation than ever before to see strong political parties because we believe that healthy competition is the key to democracy when strong ideas come, it helps us to do a better job,” he said.
The PM urged opposition parties to come with good ideas instead of wasting time on resentment.
“Creating a new government by force does not benefit anyone, wise people improve something from what they have and transfer it to the next generation. We don’t have to start from zero, we must continue from where we are and we all have the responsibility to do that which will benefit our country. After two years there will be an election and the government will do its best to carry out a free and fair election. More than ever before this is the right time, when we need strong opposition parties and we urge you to continue your discussions with the ruling party which you have already started, we need you to come up with a new sprit to build a strong nation,’’ he said.
“It is a good thing to be interested in working with us. There is a lot of work to be done. I fear that Dr. Abiy’s own party will challenge his attempts to bring change,” an opposition party member said.
Dr. Merera Gudina, leader of the Oromo People’s Congress (OPC) appreciated the new PM’s initiative to work closely with opposition parties .
In related news the PM also traveled to Jijiga and Ambo where he promised that the government would work harder to widen the political space.
He said: “this has been a tragedy that should never have taken place and we will work to find sustainable solutions within a very short time, we will support those who have been displaced as well,” speaking on previous internal conflicts between regions that left many displaced.
During his speech at Ambo Stadium the PM said: “Ambo should be a tourist attraction not a site of violence and we will work hand in hand with the people to achieve this.” Thousands welcomed the PM in Ambo by wearing t-shirts sporting his picture.
The PM was also in Mekele last Friday. He spoke glowingly about the patriotic Tigryans who devoted their lives to freedom. “Tigray is the symbol of Ethiopia. We had an ancient civilization during the times of Axum, a philosopher like Zereyakob was born here and a hero like Meles Zenawi is the fruit of this region. Like they did it before the Tigrynas should work hard to develop their country, democracy and economy .”


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