‘Citizens-based Politics’ Will Save Ethiopians, Ensure Stability: Opposition Party Leader


Addis Ababa April 20 /2019  ” Citizen-based politics will save the recent fragile situation of Ethiopians and ensue sustained stability in the country,”  the opposition Semayawi Party President, Yeshiwas Assefa said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Yeshiwas said “citizens-based political agenda” will enable   Ethiopian to survive and ensure coexistence of citizens.

“The destiny of Ethiopians is vested in their unity. Ethiopia can survive as a country not on the basis of narrow ethnic-based political agenda but on the basis of  ‘citizen-based’ political strategy, ” the president  stressed.

According to him, the major agenda of ethnic-based political parties stresses on magnifying oppression  of the pervious regimes, and this will create a perverted outlook and attitude among the new generation.

The ultimate target of citizen-based politics is to build a country in which all citizens can be proud of   and live in harmony and unity, Yeshiwas elaborated.

“We had suffered together and won together at all battles, including Adwa, Badme and Karamara,   mainly because the citizens of this country fought in unison for their territorial integrity. This is the true nature of Ethiopians,” he pointed out.

Ethiopian National Movement Party President, Yilkal Getnet holds the view that the protagonists of ethnic-based political ideology are mainly focused on fighting for the demands of certain group, culture, language, religion and profession, which is not a problem by itself.

“But if the approach relies on genealogical blood relations that is not politics. It rather teaches separatism and it is a negative approach,” he argues.

Those who profess ‘citizen-based’ political stand are arguing that culture, language and identity issues belong to the individual. “If the rights of individuals are respected, the rights of groups will be respected. Countries which respected the rights of individuals have ensured the rights of groups”, he elaborated.

In order to narrow this big gap and ensure the long-term demand of Ethiopians, bringing the issues to the center via successive dialogues and discussions is critical, he pointed out.

Despite the prevalence of some level of narrow world outlook among several groups, advocating and competing for the fulfillment of the demand for basic rights of all citizens in an amicable manner is the right way, he added.

Activist and blogger, Abel Wabella said considering the ‘citizen-based’ politics as the cause of the many challenges in the country is totally wrong.

“We have many challenges to deal with at national level with regard to the recent extremist political stands that mainly emanated from the wrong perspectives of the past years. We have to stop taking the solution as a problem,”Abel stressed.

He noted further that some parties have used ‘citizen politics’ during the four to five years as instrument for accomplishing their own hidden agenda of seeking benefits for their own groups or individuals rather than living up to expectations.

It is to be recalled that pro-unity Ethiopian political groups have announced that they are working  to form alliances and merger to challenge the ruling coalition, which recently stated that its plan to merge with its affiliates.

The Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front last February unveiled that study on a political project to form a single national party is nearing completion.