Opride.com reporter from Finfinne confirms that the Ethiopian Election Board has granted License to the Oromo Federalist Congress.
Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) is formed by the merger of two prominent Oromo opposition parties, the Oromo People Congress ( OPC) led by Professor Merera Gudina, and the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) , founded by the renowned Oromo intellectual and statesman, Bulcha Demeksa. The final and official merger was delayed due to the legal hurdles created by the electoral body which finally licensed the new party nine months after they submitted their application.
After two years of negotiations and careful deliberations; the members and leaders of the two parties decided to unify their organizations, pull their resources together and mobilize their supporters under one umbrella in order to effectively compete in the upcoming general election.
Opride Reporter notes that over the last four years, the leaderships of the two parties were under heavy pressure from students, farmers and bureaucrats to form one party and unify the Oromo opposition. It seems that the leaders have heeded to the pressure by merging the two organizations. Some political observers suggest that this is a sign of solidifying of the Oromo forces.
Reportedly, the two parties plan to contest in the upcoming election on one platform presenting a single candidate for ever electoral constituency instead of competing against each other. OPC and OFDM already hold a combined 40 seats at the federal parliament and 110 seats at the Oromia regional assembly. According to a western diplomat stationed in Finfinne (Addis Ababa), the new party could defeat the incumbent ruling party in landslide if there is free and fair election.
Both OPC and OFDM are among the founding member parties of the newly formed coalition, Forum for Democracy and Dialogue (FDDE), which is considered to be the first truly multinational coalition. This new coalition is headed by Dr Merera Gudina who is currently touring the United States.