Ethiopia: Keeping Them Honest – Where Does Medrek Stand on the Issues?

By Oromsis Adula*

Gadaa.com has a brilliant piece on Medrek’s stance on a wide range of issues in the upcoming election. Using Gadaa.com’s summary of the first round of televised debate, I compiled the following list for your ease of reading. Also, I included an extended list of the political parties that make up the coalition along with their political programs. Kudos to Gadaa.com for their hard-work in summarizing the video.

Medrek Is A Coalition of The Following Political Parties:

1. Ethiopian Social Democratic Party, chairman, Dr. Beyene Petros

a. Manifesto : ESDP Program

2. Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Coalition, has 92 seats in the House of Peoples Representatives

a. Political Program: SEPDC Program

b. According to Wiki entry [not reliable] , the Coalition Is Made Up of:

  • Gurage People’s Democratic Front
  • The Omotic People’s Democratic Front
  • The Kaffa People’s Democratic Union
  • The Hadiya National Democratic Organization
  • The Yem National Democratic Movement
  • The Wollaita People’s Democratic Front
  • The Sidama Liberation Movement
  • The Gedeo People’s Democratic Organization
  • Burji People’s Democratic Organization
  • Dawro People’s Democratic Movement
  • The Timbaro People’s Democratic Union
  • He Omo People’s Democratic Union
  • The Kabena Democratic Nationality Organization

3. Oromo People’s Congress, Chairman, Dr Merera Gudina

a. OPC Program :  Preamble

b. Formerly known as Oromo National Congress;

i. In the May 2005 elections, in spite of all the obstacles that had been created by the regime:

i. More than 4 million Oromos voted in support of ONC

ii. ONC won 105 seats in the Regional Council and 42 seats in the Federal Parliament

iii. UEDF won 52 out of the 547 seats in the Federal Parliament

iv. Forced to change its name from ONC to OPC in November 2007

v. Formed a coalition with the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) in January 2009. This coalition is named Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), and OPC will be running under this ticket for the upcoming election.

4. Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement, Chairman, Bulcha Demeksa

a. Political Program : WAFIDO

b. OFDM has 11 seats in the House of Peoples Representatives

5. Aarena Tigray for Democracy and Sovereignty, Gebru Asrat

a. Political Program, Arena

6. Coalition of Somali Democratic Forces, brand new party

7. Unity for Democracy and Justice

a. Political Program :  Kinijit Manifesto

8. Ethiopian Democratic Unity Movement.

    Where Does Medrek Stand On Issues That Matter To You?


    • Medrek stands for creating a multi-party political system in Ethiopia.
    • Medrek opposes persecuting political opponents.
    • Medrek will work to reverse laws with anti-Constitutional elements, including the EPRDF Press Law, the Civic Society Law and the so-called Anti-Terrorism Law.
    • Medrek stands for nonpartisan judges and an independent judiciary branch, both of which do not exist in Ethiopia under the current government.
    • Medrek will limit the term of the Prime Minister to two [each 5 years].
    • Medrek will foster an environment conducive to free press.
    • Medrek respects both group rights of nations and individual rights of citizens.


    • Government’s BPR (business process re-engineering) reform of the civil service has failed to deliver due to a reward policy based on loyalty to ruling party, not competency.
    • Medrek will reform the civil service and reward based on competency rather than party loyalty.
    • Medrek strongly deplores the high level of corruption in the current government; even the National Bank of Ethiopia was not spared from the ongoing theft.
    • Institutions set up to fight corruption have miserably failed.
    • Securing democratic rights is essential in corruption fight to expose corrupt officials.


    • Medrek will work to legally restore the Assab Port as Ethiopia’s access to sea.
    • Medrek is for one Ethiopia where states secure social/political/economic rights.


    • Medrek’s economic policy: balanced development of all sectors, especially the agriculture, the industry and the service.
    • Despite abundance of water resource: high level of starvation and famine
    • Medrek will aggressively introduce modern irrigation techniques to combat drought and famine.
    • Current land policy has led to eviction of farmers to make ways for foreign investments.


    • Medrek’s land policy: ownership should be given to the farmer
    • Medrek’s stance on eminent domain: fair compensation to the farmer
    • Government’s agriculture-led economic development policy has resulted in famine, unemployment, and poverty over the last 18 years.


    • Medrek: Improved basic services in urban areas, better urban land policy
    • Urbanization policy: better roads, rails, reliable electricity and advanced telecommunication systems
    • Medrek: technical and financial support to investors and small-business owners
    • Medrek opposes government’s discrimination by labeling opponents as “rent seekers”.


    • Quality of education has deteriorated. Government has failed to identify problems and their solutions.
    • Fund schools by cutting millions of Birr spent on lavish propaganda parties.
    • Medrek will stop political meetings that are wasting teachers’ and students’ time.
    • Medrek believes lack of academic freedom and growing number of political appointees in schools have led to failure of the education system.


    • Health workers are being forced to join ruling party; and they waste their valuable time in propaganda.
    • Politicization has caused crisis in health sector; this has shifted the focus of the health sector from its job of saving lives.
    • Medrek: competency before loyalty, improved medical services
    • Medrek: affordable health services; free medical services to low-income groups


    • Revolutionary Democracy and EPRDF: against the rule of law in Ethiopia
    • Political problems are results of the misguided Revolutionary Democracy ideology of the ruling party, EPRDF.
    • EPRDF’s Revolutionary Democracy is creating hegemony of one political party in Ethiopia.
    • EPRDF’s Revolutionary Democracy: against multi-party political system
    • EPRDF’s Revolutionary Democracy: against the Ethiopian Constitution
    • Government’s economic policy has made a few millionaires while millions have impoverished at the same time.
    • Current high unemployment is the result of misguided economic policy.
    • Drought only leads to famine under bad economic policy as seen over 18 years.
    • Medrek: opposes divisive policies of EPRDF designed to keep itself in power
    • Medrek: Government labeling real opposition as “anti-peace” is dangerous & illegal
    • Medrek: Will relentlessly work for peace and development in Ethiopia

    * Medrek’s Mini-Program in Amharic:






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