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Monday, 1 March 2010

Who said we need election ?

Tedla Asfaw

I am not a fan of a strong man of Eritrea, Isaias Afeworki, and I did not show up on the Feb.24 demonstration in Washington D.C. to denounce the USA sponsored sanction against Eritrea. One thing I agree with Isaias Afeworki is his stand on election. He never believes in election like his neighbor TPLF led Ethiopia. On many interviews he told us that such election is a waste of resources and lives as we saw five year ago in May 2005 in Ethiopia.

Since 1991 Isaias has not conducted any election while his counterpart in Addis have conducted many including the election billed to the world as "Enkene Yeleshe Mircha"/ flawless election. We all know what happened and Ethiopians are still not recovering from the trauma of May 7, 2005 election and its aftermath.

A TPLF led regime is known on exaggeration of its strength except being surprised on Badme war more than a decade ago and our people election verdict five years ago. It lost both, the Badme war and the election of May 2005. It was only after using Ethiopian nationalism and the call of defending the mother land it beat back Shabia and recovered Badme. However, recovering from its electoral defeat of May 2005 is impossible in any  transparent election.

Moreover, since May 2005 election we heard Meles Zenawi and his top cadres telling us that they learned form their loss of May 2005 and will do all  to win in the May 23,  2010 election. For the majority of Ethiopians nothing has changed in their lives to change their vote of May 2005. In a fair and free election the ruling regime in Ethiopia is gone for good and the truth is it will stay on power for years to come to catch up with the Asian Tigers and its model is not the West but China. Development for the masses and politics for ideological or tribal elites

The cry of development, the infrastructure, schools,clinics  double digit economic growth is not benefiting the people whose living standard is going down daily. I have not seen also development attracting Ethiopian Diasporas going back to Ethiopia in masses to help themselves and their country.

The only one who are benefiting from infrastructure development are foreign investors/landlords that are coming to buy cheap land that will primarily benefit them, the regime at the expense of poor rural farmers and will have great consequence, destroying Ethiopian agriculture. The infrastructure development is helping these foreigners to ship their harvest out from the land locked Ethiopia that will live on donated food for years to come.

The regime is boasting number of clinics and number of schools built in many parts of Ethiopia. It claims itself as a development state like Peoples Republic of China. What we all know is that China reached its current high development without any election. Eritrea media is also full of development news without any election. So why do we spend resources for  such election ?

Neither Eritrea nor China will  waste their resources in election fiasco. The truth is that the Ethiopian regime is surviving on foreign loans, budget subsidy and its defense budget paid fully by the west primarily USA.. To get all these aids the West demands election fair or not, for poor Ethiopia. No one asks China to make election because the big corporation of the West are making big investment in China and in fact less in an elected government of India.

Moreover, the Ethiopian regime is accountable to its subsidizers, the West. Their interest is to fight their war on terror in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. The West argue that Ethiopia is a strategic country and  Meles Zenawi is a respectable leader who Liston to them not  Isaias who put his finger on their eyes, deserves sanction or possible regime change.

The May 23 election is only less than ninety days and the game remains still the same. Election to satisfy the demand of the West not to empower our people in a fair, free and transparent election. I hope the West will not hold back its aid if our people boycott this coming election.