News: OFC, OLF and ONP agree to form “Coalition for Democratic Federalism”

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Etenesh Abera

Addis Abeba, January 04/2020 – Three national political parties competing in Ethiopia’s upcoming general elections in 2020 have agreed to form a coalition called “Coalition for Democratic Federalism.”

On January 03, leaders of the three parties: Prof. Merera Gudina of Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), Dawud Ibssa of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and Brig. Gen. Kemal Gelchu of Oromo National Party (ONP), have signed the agreement.

The document, reviewed by Addis Standard, contains three chapters stating the areas in which the three parties would work together under the new coalition.

Accordingly, the first chapter in the document signed by the three parties stated the name of the coalition as “Coalition for Democratic Federalism” (in Afaan Oromoo, “Gamtaa Dimokiraatawaa Federaalistii” (Gamtaa in short), and in Amharic “ትብብር ለዲሞራክራሲያዊ ፌዴራሊዝም.”

Chapter two of the document contains the major objectives of the Coalition and has seven points outlined. They are: A/ Based on election results of the three parties in the 2020 general elections, to form a coalition government. B/ To work together to make sure the election is free and democratic. C/ To jointly coordinate material and financial resources during election campaigns. D/ To mobilize efforts to work together with other parties that share political programs closer to their own programs both at national and regional levels. E/ To contribute their shares and work together to solve conflicts arising in different parts of the country and work with other stakeholders to materialize national consensus. F/ To work together to avoid election related violence and misunderstanding. And G/ To mobilize efforts to democratize Ethiopia’s multi-national federalism.

Chapter three of the document contains details on the various bylaws of the Coalition and has six points outlined. They are: A/ Mentions the Coalition will have a bylaw containing the official name of the Coalition, working language, seat of the headquarters, and the structure of the Coalition. B/ Mentions the structure of the Coalition containing the a council, executive committee, secretariat, audit and legal commissions. C/ Mentions incorporation of political programs of each of the individual parties that make up the coalition with each party as independent entity. D/ Mentions the Coalition is subject to amendments, to transform into a front or merger, or be dissolved all based on consensus between the parties. E/ Mentions the three parties have signed on the document. And F/ Mentions the Coalition will have a legal entity in accordance with proclamation No. 1162/2011 Article 94, and as of the date the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia issued a certificate of registration recognizing the Coalition.

The three parties have already submitted a letter requesting the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) a legal recognition and registration of the Coalition. According to this morning’s edition of Addis Maleda NP, NEBE has confirmed recipient of the letter.

The negotiations have been ongoing in the last few months. In an exclusive interview he held with Addis Standard, Jawar Mohammed, who recently joined OFC, hinted that “there will be coalitions at regional levels, not only in Oromia.” He further said that “the way it is going to work is, in the region there are different parties and they have to form a coalition in their own region and at the federal level. Negotiation is underway right now for these coalitions at both levels. And soon within weeks we expect something to come out of these negotiations.” AS

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5 Responses to News: OFC, OLF and ONP agree to form “Coalition for Democratic Federalism”

  1. PM Abiy Ahmed lied “In Ethiopia the time to be holding power through force has ended”. TPLF is in power through force until now, Abiy is in power till now by force. TPLF is in power until now by force. All of EPRDF is in power by force.

    Tigray Democratic Party is not even allowed to introduce it’s alternative ideas. Jawar showed his force by chopping, Jawar shut Abiy up, now Jawar is contending for power by killing 86+ people by force.

    January 5, 2020 at 7:52 pm

  2. It ain’t big deal but I question why there were 5 individuals at the meeting when the merging was of 3 groupings? Just asking. But it is a commendable achievement. I hope they will not stop at that. They should build upon the momentum they have now and extend their embracing arms to others that pursue similar programs of lifting citizens out of wretchedness irrespective of ethnicity. The time is for healing and unity. The problems facing citizens is so intertwined that they cannot be done away with by toiling all alone. One’s source of a river is a quench of thirst for others hundreds of miles away. One’s temperate climate is where clouds originate and dump their rain in buckets hundreds possibly thousands of miles away. Even one’s language has shown to play part in enriching the languages of others. I am sure Obbo Merera knows that very well. I am sure Obbo Jawar knows that already. I am sure Obbo Dawud knows that very well. I am certain that Obbo Kemal realizes that very well. From now on they are not three but one and that is good news.

    I am also sure that these capable countrymen know that such unity exudes strength in them and such newly sought strength comes with responsibility. Now they share, whether they like it or admit it or not, the responsibility for the safety of citizens and peace of the country from East to West and from North to South. Every word that comes out of their mouths bears huge accountability and will be watched/scrutinized more than ever. They must be part of the effort to heal the wounds and bring back peace where there will be rule of law. They have to watch their language. They are expected to speak in measured terms. The days of talking at random with raw and incendiary emotion are over!!!! Elders among them should behave as our legendary elders we grew up emulating/heeding and they should be listened to. They should always remember that when elites stop listening to each other that opens a vacuum where smart alecks will be amassing power all the way to a dictatorship. By the time they wake up to it, it will be just too late. Blessings to you and all the best!!!!

    Meanwhile, even though I praised the leaders of these three groupings for choosing unity over division, I am not letting them off the hook that easily when it comes to the lack of women in their leadership. Such intentional void is not limited to Oromo political groups but it is also prevalent in Amhara and Tigray similar groups. That proves to me that these men are still in the mindsets of the archaic era with their 21st bodies. They somehow could not cleanse themselves off the filthy male chauvinism toward our capable women. Are you trying to tell me that there ain’t a single countrywoman who is up to the job to lead any political grouping? Don’t even try that with me!!! I am shaming these leaders for ignoring our women and did not even say excuse me/us!!! It shows that they can’t get rid of the influence of the society they grew up emulating which was dominated by male chauvinist pigs!!! Yes, you heard me right!!! If they are not as such, then show me the ‘money’!!! It won’t take that much effort to find a countrywoman who is well qualified for the leadership role. Just walk to any street or village and pick any woman and you will find her more qualified than anyone of the male leaders. Any woman!!!! Such lack of participation by our more than qualified women that by itself disqualifies such male only led parties from the leadership of the country. They should clean their noses from this macho mentality first before drooling for the top position. Period!!!

    Ittu Aba Farda
    January 6, 2020 at 8:13 pm

  3. Ittu Aba Farda,

    Why don’t you directly question what Jawar is doing in the meeting rather than ask ”why there were 5 individuals at the meeting when the coalition was of 3 groupings?” I guess you implied ( or more appropriately said indirectly) that Jawar was not supposed to be in the meeting. As you know, its not how many people meet but who meet that matters. A hundred members of two parties can meet to agree on a merger if their internal party rule allows it. However, what cannot be avoided is membership to the parties to create a valid coalition. The question is if Jawar is a member of any of the parties and, if so, is his membership valid? If his membership is invalid, is the process of forming a coalition in which he participated and voted null and void? If null and void, should another meeting be called (less Jawar) for a new coalition agreement?

    The following report is from Its title goes “የጃዋር መሐመድ ኢትዮጵያዊ ተብሎ የኦፌኮ ፓርቲ መታወቂያ ማግኘቱ ከሕግ አንፃር አነጋጋሪ ሆኗል” The fact that we saw Jawar’s membership card to OFC – now in coalition with OLF and ONP – demonstrates how journalism and politics in our country are getting serious.

    Mereja carried a remark of Seyoum Teshome who apparently is not a lawyer, but his remarks on the issue goes in line with the law. As Seyoum said, Jawar cannot apply and obtain a membership card from OFC – now in coalition with OLF and ONP – because he has not relinquished his U.S. citizenship and acquired Ethiopian nationality. In my previous posting, I expressed my wish that Jawar leaves activism and run for office including for prime ministership without breaking the law of the country. But he has broken the law. That is by applying and obtaining OFC – OLF – ONP membership card before he relinquished his U.S. citizenship and acquired Ethiopian nationality.

    The “Ethiopian Election, Political Parties Registration and Election Ethics Proclamation” makes an Ethiopian eligible to elect (Article 5(2) cum 18) or to be elected ( Article 5(2) cum 31). This applies to elections at all levels and at all times. Even membership to a political party is reserved to Ethiopians. Following international practice, Articles 63 (1) and (2) of the same Proclamation authorizes an Ethiopian citizen to become a member of a national or regional (albeit municipal parties are forgotten from the list here) political parties. If foreign nationals were allowed to join political parties, it could have been stated clearly in the proclamation. The exclusion of foreign nationals from membership of political parties is not a legislative oversight; it is a deliberate choice made by the drafters of the proclamation, the Council of Ministers that adopted it and the House of People’s representatives that enacted it as a law.

    Again, the right process for Jawar is to relinquish his U.S. citizenship and obtain a certificate or a written proof to this effect from U.S. officials. Once this process is complete, he can begin the process to acquire Ethiopian nationality.

    The Ethiopian constitution reserves the right of any national to change his/her Ethiopian nationality. It also provides that “foreign nationals may acquire Ethiopian nationality.” Like the process in the U.S., however, acquiring Ethiopian nationality requires applying and receiving a certificate or a written proof from the Ethiopian government. This means Ethiopia, like many other countries, has legislated that its citizenship is not to be dropped and picked as pleased.

    The Ethiopian government is not under obligation to grant citizenship to a foreigner particularly to someone who relinquished his Ethiopian nationality by taking another. The above cited Constitutional provision uses permissive phrase “may” enabling the government to exercise full discretion to grant or deny the request; it is not something to be demanded and acquired as of right. Particularly when the requesting individual had been engaged in subversive and violent activities against the country. Denial is likely if the applicant is sought by a foreign state for criminality.

    In addition to the Constitution, the Ethiopian Election and Political Parties Registration and Election Ethics Proclamation and the Ethiopian Nationality Proclamation of 2003 has set conditions to be fulfilled to acquire Ethiopian nationality by a foreigner: ” the foreigner has to establish that he has his domicile in Ethiopia and have lived in Ethiopia for a total of at least four years preceding the submission of his application.” Assuming that Jawar successfully relinquished his U.S. citizenship, can he show that he has domiciled in Ethiopia for four years now? Not really. He has been in the country for less than a year.

    As I said above, there is a clear procedure to relinquished U.S. citizenship. What Jawar needs is to retain a U.S. based lawyer preferably with specialization in citizenship issues and persue what he wants to achieve. If, as Seyoum suggests, Jawar is being investigated by U.S. authorities in relation to “የታክስ ማጭበርበር ወንጀል” then he might face a tough process. In the presence of ome kind of criminality, his attempt to relinquished U.S. citizenship and acquire Ethiopian nationality might be considered as fleeing U.S. justice. Again if there is criminality, the U.S. might, sooner or later ask his return to the country to stand trial. If he refuses, Ethiopia might be asked to cooperate in handing him over. Not long ago, Ethiopia has cooperated with the U.S. to handover a fugitive who allegedly has committed murders. It cannot refuse when it comes to Jawar.

    Jawar’s membership to OFC – OLF – ONP has put on the spotlight not only himself who obviously fails to qualify for membership in any party in thr country because of his U.S. citizenship, but has also put on the spotlight OFC – OLF – ONP who have violated the country’s laws. They were not to have him as a member.

    When Jawar applied for and received a membership card to OFC – OLF – ONP, he knows he is breaking the law of the country; but he did it any way. Such disregard of the law shows arrogance on his part which didn’t go unnoticed by many. From his behaviour on this issue, many have started to fear what kind of a serious mess he can cause if he holds public office.

    Now the question is what action would the National Electoral Board (NEB) take on OFC – OLF – ONP to correct the blatant violation of the law. If unsanctioned, Jawar’s joining of OFC – OLF – ONP while he’s still a foreigner will open the flood gates to foreigners to join parties in the country.

    The NEB might not appreciate the enormity of the risk foreign nationals pose to the country and its people if foreigners join political parties unless it thinks in terms of how many millions of foreigners there are and their huge financial muscle and numerous media outlets. If the law is not fully enforced, foreigners can really screw up hard and fast the country and its people. The future of generations is at grave risk especially when they are bought by foreign governments to bring chaos and civil war to our doorsteps.

    With due respect, Ittu Aba Farda and people like him who cover up serious danger to our country and its people should be told to call ‘’a spade a spade’’.

    Hanna Belayneh (AAU)
    January 7, 2020 at 12:27 pm

  4. Dear Countryman/woman Hanna Belayneh (AAU):

    First of all I come to you wishing you blessings to you and your family!!!

    First of all I don’t think I did anything that shows I am in a business of covering up anything. I am a layman when it comes to legal matters. I have no idea if there is a law in the old country that stipulates a wait time for any person before being accepted as a party member. Is there such a requirement in the law there and if yes, what is the wait time? I don’t know. Do you? Obbo Merera should know about that if there is any such a requirement and I don’t remember him complaining about it before.

    In regards to the tax evasion issue you mentioned in your comment, I have no idea or knowledge about it. If you had the chance to read my comments in the past I had raised the issue before on all of these TV stations, other media outlets and charities. I was wondering if they were audited by the IRS itself or any other independent accounting firms such as Deloitte and others. I was questioning their sources of revenue that helped them going. If all that came from ordinary fans then they should publish their income and balance sheet statements. I had raised this issue many times in the past. Apparently you did not read them or had chosen to ignore them. But I have been asking questions about the finances of the major media outlets and also charities. I had opined the following about two years ago:
    ‘There is no question that I always expect some improprieties by all media and charity outfits in their finances until they are proven to be clean of such offences by independent auditors. Companies in the west do that by auditing themselves and by hiring government certified accounting firms such Deloitte, Anderson and many others. I had the opportunity to face the scrutiny of such accounting firms during my career at the end of the year. Before the days of computerized virtual inventory we used to hold an annual physical count of inventory around the last weeks of the year. We then tell the account firm to come and verify our counts for certification. They pick samples based on their algorithm and if one of them is found to be a wrong count then we will be at their mercy. I remember them having us count the entire raw. Their certification does not come that easy.

    So my question is: Are all of the charity outfits that we have been sending our money to always audited by such accounting firms? I have not seen their quarterly or years financials anywhere all these years. Have they been audited by IRS? If so when and what were the findings? Possibly millions have been collected. How was it put to use? Where can you see the financials of all these media outlets and charities? Please don’t take me wrong. I’m not saying that these outfits have become the cash cows of smart alecks. But it is the custom of charities in this republic in making their books available for the donating public to see. As long as such documents are not available for everyone to see the 2nd thoughts about them will remain to be there unabated. My wife and I have been sending what we could over the years whenever there was a call for help. The author might have opened a can of worms on this one.’

    Do you remember that? I wish some of us would make it a habit to read between the lines with undivided attention and when not half seas over.

    I have a question for you though. Besides the alleged illegality of Jawar’s party membership, what else bothers about this merger? Are you worried that these five individuals will be able to carve out a territory to found a republic? I have made that very clear in my umpteen comments in the past. That ain’t gonna happen. It has been a fantasy dreamed by the deacons of Marx and Stalin and it will remain to be so till the end of time!!! What else is bugging you about it? Rumors and innuendos have always proven to be deadly and destructive. We should all remember that this young man, Jawar, has the right like any other citizen to apply for and be a member of any legally registered political party. As of today and as we speak he is a law abiding citizen. He is not a convicted felon. We should all remember that auditing by the IRS does not make you a felon until you are found guilty of tax evasion. We have to wait for the outcome of the audit, if there is one going now.

    In regards to me questioning the number of people in the photo, it was an honest question. The story tells about the merger of 3 parties but there were 5 men(All chauvinist men shunning our very capable women).

    Dear countryman/woman: That old country, that gem of the colored, that pride and joy of all us which was in one piece when I left more than 60 years ago is having its last chance to remain so. This is it!!! There will be no more. It has been sitting on more than 100 million powder kegs since the mid 1970’s. Let’s not take pleasure in fanning the smoldering fire from our comfy homes at a safe distance. We should make this moment a time for healing and reconstruction of the harmony and peace that were badly damaged during the last 29 years. It is not funny!!! Bigots are spewing incendiary poison in Oromia, Amhara and Tigray regions. It is not a joke!!! It is not funny!!!

    Finally, I leave now betting you peace and blessings to you and your family!!!!

    Ittu Aba Farda
    January 7, 2020 at 11:35 pm

  5. dedeb commentators ever

    Dr Jawar will be our defnse minster and will certainly silence fano and other bandits who are igniting violence. We will destroy the statue of MinilikII who died from Syphilis. The good news for amhara is Minilik was the first person to make condom from madaberiya . Since her excellencey , Queen Taitu, was made at him for his sexual misconduct, spending nights with other ladies and Italians. Minilk was a curse for ethiopia , selling Djibouti to westerners and Oromos and even amharas to import weapons in return.

    This is the part of the forbidden story which was found in the forbidden book . Amharas were successful to conceal the stories which do expose the brutality of emperors from thier tribe such as MinilikII, Zerayacob, Fasilides, etc These demagogue leaders were killing thousands and supressing the minorities in the name of orthodox church by misinterpreting the sacred books for thier own good.

    Oromo leaders will soon eradicate the statue of these killers and replace them by those patriots who died for thier fellow country men.

    Amhara defame and demonize Erecha and sanctify Debteras killing children , women and peacefull people. Orthodox church is now adopting superstition. Monks and mahibrekidusan stel public money. You can find a churchmen who own hotels and save millions while the poor orthodox church believers migrated to the western world . Many of the orthodox church monks and bishops are millionaires while the poor family is unable to enjoy one mel per day. They enjoy free food and steal the riches of the church and rob the laity , seperate the family with metet etc State should take this cancer into account if they want to develop the country. We have still resources within the country , and we donot need to take that much money from the world bank. Church is filled with robbers with sheeps clothing. When you expose thier crime, they call everyone “heretic” etc Mahibrekidusan yehager telat ye hizib telat metetam debtera sibisib.

    amhara party kezene abede committed political suicide


    +1 814- 408- 7819

    please donot hack my email and bother me calling in the evening esp on sundays! thank you so much.

    January 8, 2020 at 6:05 am

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