Here’s Why The Chest-Beating Jingoistic TPLF Is So Desperate For An Election In Ethiopia

04 June 2020 Serawr Information Centre

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) Central Committee released a statement after holding a seven day-long meeting. The opening of the statement stated that “the Central Committee of TPLF held extensive discussions about rapidly changing global, region-wide and national events”.

Having claimed to have discussed these various and vast topics, the TPLF, however, used most of the statement to ridicule and lash out at Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his party. Calling the progressive party a “parasitic clique” that is determined to “control all levers of state power” and that it has no “an iota of concern for the interests of the public and committed to pursuing only its narrow interest”.

The central focus of the statement is  the postponement of Ethiopia’s  election due to coronavirus. The TPLF accuses Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and his party for violating the constitution to prolong its power in office. Furthermore, the TPLF makes several accusations, including selling out of “the country’s sovereignty and other vital national interests” and declaring war on Tigray people.

The TPLF tries to steer Tigray to jingoistic chest thumping about how great the Tigray people and the “vanguard party” are. The statement declares “the PP clique’s bravado and devious schemes will not have any material impact on how we operate or our popular struggle beyond creating even greater determination and resolve to succeed”.

After presenting its own narrative about recent history and ongoing situation in Ethiopia, the Central Committee of TPLF declared the decisions it passed. While paying lip service to the threat that coronavirus poses, the decisions are mainly about the election- namely the TPLF will be holding election in Tigray in defiance of the National Election Board of Ethiopia, which has decided to postpone the election. 

The other aspect of its decisions declares that “the Central Committee has also decided to intensify the struggle to thwart the devious schemes of PP forces, their enablers and dupes” and states the strategy it will employ that include “to strengthen our relations with national and regional political actors that are willing to work with us”.

The TPLF  presents itself as a champion of democracy and human rights, and expresses its willingness to sacrifice whatever it takes to hold the election before the end of September. While simultaneously pointing its fingers at “the PP clique and their leader’ for the negative consequences that could occur in the country.

The fundamental question that must be asked is- why is the TPLF very desperate for election? Has the TPLF turned into the vanguard of democracy and human rights suddenly? 

The TPLF is actually adding insult to the injury of the Ethiopian people, who suffered under its long misrule immensely.  The TPLF conducted fake elections that led to so much blood shed. This is an organization that gunned down many Ethiopians  indiscriminately in the streets of Addis Ababa and other parts of the country after stealing their vote and claiming to win 100 percent of the vote.

The real reason the TPLF is pushing for election at any cost is that it views the election as a way out of the quagmire it finds itself in. After the TPLF was kicked out from the federal power, plunging the country into chaos and disrupting the peace process between Ethiopia and Eritrea, has been its only strategy to remain in power and carry out its agenda. To this end, the TPLF has managed to instigate many conflicts in many parts of Ethiopia employing millions of money. 

However, the TPLF is eyeing the election as a deathblow for Ethiopia that would lead to violence and disintegration of the country as many including think tanks organisations have warned. Moreover, the TPLF fears that  if given more time, the Abiy government may consolidate its power and stabilise the country. This would also mean that the personal accountability of the leaders of the TPLF (for the crimes and curruptions that were committed during their rule)  would follow. Therefore, the primary concern of TPLF leaders  is not the interest of Tigray people as they claim.

The disintegration of Ethiopia alone does not provide the full solution for the TPLF’s agenda. It also requires a very weak Eritrea that it can easily subjugate in order to make its lifelong ambition of creating the Republic of Greater Tigray happen. The whole point of the war and all forms of pressure that the TPLF waged on Eritrea with the full support of the West  over two decades was meant to dismantle Eritrea. 

Despite losing the central power in Ethiopia, the TPLF has continued with the same hostile policy towards Eritrea  in the last two years. The TPLF has also been given a free rein to create chaos in Ethiopia. The question is how long will both governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea continue to tolerate the TPLF’s behaviour? 

04 June 2020,  Serawr Information Centre

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