ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopia’s Defense Minister Lemma Megerssa has agreed to narrow his differences and work with the soon to be formed Prosperity Party, says the ruling coalition party on Monday.
The agreement came after a discussion he has held with the current and former officials of Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) – one of the four parties that makes up the ruling coalition. Lemma is the deputy chairman of ODP.
In an interview he gave to the VOA last month, Lemma expressed his disagreement with the rushed merger of political parties and also opposes Abiy’s new philosophy to unite the country, called “Medemer,” directly translated as “to add.”
Agreements have now reached “to narrow differences,” says the Coalition said in a statement posted on its official Facebook page.
From here onward, agreement was reached “to strengthen unity and work together to take the people’s struggle to the next chapter”, it says.
The statement said political differences during reform processes are “differences of thoughts”, and “they can be resolved democratically”.
The difference in uniting the ruling coalition came few months ahead of general elections scheduled to be held in 2020, with pundits say could raise more challenges to the success of Prosperity Party, currently under formation.
The merger has the support of all coalition members as well as its affiliates, even though it faced opposition from Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which was a former leading member.
The ruling coalition has been in power for 30 years in Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous country. The Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister has vowed the general election would be democratic.
[Photo File/EPRDF Official]