Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Siye's Election

I had previously argued, albeit breifly, that taking part in the election scheduled for next month is a pointless exercise which could harm the cause of democracy in Ethiopia and had suggested that boycotting the election might be a better alternative. I have not learned any new set of facts in the last three months which would persuade me to change this point of view, a view which I believe is also shared by many. Of course, there is a possibility, though remote, that something big happening between now and the election which could dramatically change the playing field in favor of the opposition. If that comes to pass, I would be more than happy to be proven wrong on my prognostication.
Having said that, there could be something to be gained by the opposition in the upcoming election. If handled right, the participation of former top officials of the Woyane regime in the election on the side of the opposition could prove very useful in showing Ethiopians what's on the horizon beyond Woyane era. The former Woyane official who best represents this transitional period is none other than Siye Abraha, the former defence minister, thus the label "Siye's Election". I wish Birtukan was leading the opposition in this election, but that was not to be at this time [I hope her suffering is a blessing in disguise]. For now, Siye is the next best thing the opposition has got. I just watched Siye address some tough questions on this video and I have to say I was very impressed with the maturity level he displayed in addressing them.

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