Democracy and multiparty

A few days ago, I watched on video the 12 February first debate between the political parties contending for power in Ethiopia, courtesy of ERTA, organised as part of preparations for the fourth general election that would take place on May 23rd. The selected six participating parties in order of their presentations, as determined by ballots, were EPRDF, CUD, EDP, Ye Ethiopian Ra’ey Party (Ethiopian Vision), the Ethiopian Justice and Democratic Forces Front and Medrek. The topic of the debate “Democracy and Multiparty Election in Ethiopia” provided an officially-sanctioned face-to-face attack between the parties, with little time left for elucidating their positions on issues. The interesting thing is that there were only two sides to the debate amongst six debaters, with hardly anyone in-between. Thus: on one side is the ruling party and on the other five opposition parties, four of which are signatories with the ruling party on the code of conduct, which leaves out Medrek.

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