A quick look at the just ended Ethiopia’s local and city administrations election will discern, among others, two outstanding developments: a conspicuous absence of the major opposition parties, and the rather unimpressive election platforms espoused by the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Party (EPRDF) with the leading ones being “to bring the ongoing infrastructural construction projects to completion”, and ‘in order to materialize Meles’s vision’’.
With the absence of any seriously contending party, a “landslide victory” by the ruling party will never come as a surprise no matter what its election platforms are. Nevertheless, a closer examination of these election platforms and other related political issues helps us gauge the level of maturity in the political-culture of the nation in general and the current political trends of the party in particular. And this is more so with EPRDF as a party that decidedly embarked on reconfiguring the political landscape of the country and took up the lion’s share in instituting the current hegemonic political and economic order.
To begin with, the elections campaign motto –‘to bring the ongoing infrastructural construction projects to completion’–is undoubtedly an issue which largely concerns administrative and bureaucratic matters. As a matter of fact, in fairly functional state during an event of election what is often presumed to leave its position is only the losing party. As such, the administrative and bureaucratic machineries of the state are in principle presumed to proceed with their ongoing administrative and project activities; unless, of course, it is the case with an authoritarian regime which systematically blends its party functionaries with bureaucratic apparatus of the state. Thus, the aforementioned election platform could barely stand as a fairly appealing cause for reasonably rational electorates.