With respect to the campaign motto –‘in order to materialize Meles’s vision’–one, first and foremost, needs to consider the questions: what does it really mean? Most importantly, why has it been picked up as election platform by the ruling party in the present election?
Many of us recall the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi passionately expressing on several occasions his close affinity with his party, so much so that he would hardly distinguish his political or even personal life from that of the party he fashioned. Certainly, he was nowhere sighted championing his own personal idea and vision as distinct from the grand political and economic agenda of EPRDF. Thus, the notion of “Meles’s vision” is quite unclear to many whether it refers to all purportedly EPRDF’s policies and programs or Meles’s own personal vision.
Nevertheless, a more systematic look into the mantra of “Meles’s vision” will reveal that apparently it’s an ideological construction basically meant to serve as a stabilizing force to maintain the status quo and a rhetoric which emotionally appeals, given the relatively higher popularity of the late premier, to potential supporters as well as voters – sadly enough, now it appears to be rapidly evolving into some sort of “theocratic faith”.