ADDIS ABEBA – National Electoral Board of Ethiopia announced on Wednesday its decision to issue a certificate of recognition to the newly merged Prosperity Party.
The party was formed following the merger of three of the four ethnically-based parties in the governing coalition, which has been in place since 1991. These are the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) and The Amhara Democratic Party (ADP).
The new Prosperity Party includes other allies of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) that currently controls every seat in parliament.
The allies that are merged with into the Prosperity Party are the Harari National League (HNL); the Ethiopian Somali Peoples Democratic Party (ESPDP); the Afar National Democratic Party (ANDP); the Gambella Peoples Unity Party (GPUP); and he Benishangul Gumuz Peoples Democratic Party (BGPDP).
In a statement issued Wednesday, the Electoral Board said the decision to recognize the prosperity party made following the request submitted by the party on December 4, 2019.
Each party took all the legal steps to dissolve themselves, join and sign the agreement to form Property Party, it said, adding the whole process in their decision processes to were legal and met the requirements set in the country’s law.
Last month, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed the decision of the coalition and its allies to merge as a “crucial step in harnessing our energy to work toward a shared vision”.
But the refusal of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to become part of the new party highlights what problems could lie ahead for the prime minister.
He faces his first electoral test next year when his vision of a country that is unified on the one hand and ethnically diverse on the other will be voted on.