PM emphasizes untiy in speech to parliament

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(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appeared at parliament on Tuesday October, 2019, responding to questions presented by both the House of People’s Representatives and the House of Federation.
The Prime Minster clarified his positions regarding the upcoming election, the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a unified country and government’s plan.
Questioned by lawmakers about the future of the fractious ruling coalition Abiy said that EPRDF intends to merge into a single party which was unanimously agreed during last year’s meeting in Hawasa, though, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), rejected the idea last week. The Prime Minister said it is useful to open a dialogue about a unified party.
“No force will stop Ethiopia from building the dam,” the PM said when asked about a dispute with Egypt. He stressed negotiations but said he could ready millions for war if the need arose.
The Prime Minister warned non-Ethiopian media owners engaged in inciting conflicts by spreading hate speech.
He stressed that some media institutions in Ethiopia have been abusing press freedom and explicitly said his administration will not tolerate any more of those media owners for the sake of defending the peace and stability of the country and well-being of citizens.
Though there have been concerns raised by advocates, and politicians, both from the ruling EPRDF and the opposition block, political analysts and observers of Ethiopian politics on holding the election, the Prime Minister firmly defended his government’s decision to conduct the election.
“The elections will not be free of challenges, holding that is useful in many ways as the past show how the Ethiopian people vote for the parties of their choice instead of resorting to post election violence,” Abiy said.
However, all stakeholders including the media, civil society organizations and competing political parties need to discharge their responsibilities to make the election a success.
“Democracy is an exercise and a culture and it is so when we exercise it, when we do it, we dont run away from it,” Abiy added.
PM Abiy also spoke about the complaints of over 70 opposition political parties against the recently revised electoral law which raised the number of signatures parties are required to collect to register as national political party to 10,000 up from 1,500 and requires regional parties to collect 4,000 signatures up from 750.
As a result of this, opposition parties planned to hold a hunger strike against the revised electoral law during the first week of November.
“The grievance is emanated from their own weakness not from the law,” said the PM.