Backlash from the 99.6% TPLF win

By Robele Ababya / June 02, 2010
 As a brutal dictator, Mengistu lived violating the sovereignty of the people (1974-1991). As a ruthless mercenary, Meles Zenawi lives on violating the sovereignty of both the people and the country”Ethiomedia 
<a class= "As a brutal dictator, Mengistu lived violating the sovereignty of the people (1974-1991). As a ruthless mercenary, Meles Zenawi lives on violating the sovereignty of both the people and the country”Ethiomedia
The point is well taken that readers are interested in the way forward in the aftermath of the massively rigged election 2010. An immediate and overriding course of action is to reflect on the failure to create a formidable unity that has eluded opposition forces for decades. It is imperative now more than any time before to ask the cardinal question whether each of us have put Ethiopia first over and above personal or group interests in order to prevent extinction of democracy on the watch of all of us who really love our Motherland, Ethiopia.

The debate will continue in search of formulas for forging unity. I sincerely hope that the result of election of 23 May 2010 will serve as a lesson. That it would open a can of worms to expose and discredit the massively manipulated election results. I have made an attempt to that effect in the passage captioned “The devil is in the details” elsewhere below in this piece.

I realize that there are still diverse views in the interpretation of the results of the election. My views of an optimist are captured in this short writing which in essence portrays the oppositions such as Mederek et al as the real victors eventually. I have also suggested areas of focus on the way forward in general terms.

The backlash

The backlash from the 99.6% ‘victory’ claimed by TPLF Party in the rigged Ethiopian election of 23 May 2010 has certainly put tyrant Meles in an indefensible position. It has deservedly embarrassed his generous donors and strong supporters from Western democracies, especially the USA and the U.K, who have found themselves in a bizarre situation of witnessing the money collected from taxpayers in their respective countries spent in the formation of effectively an all-pervasive dominant single communist party in Ethiopia located in the volatile region of the Horn of Africa. Moreover the ally of these donors on the war on terrorism is emulating the practice of Al Shabab in Somalia in restricting independent radio and television broadcasts, the former jamming the Voice of America and German Radio (Deutche Welle) and the latter completely shutting radio and television stations broadcasting BBC programs in Somalia.

The result of the election is humiliating to the shameless regime in that it can never explain its validity – not by a long shot. Even junior high school children are laughing at it. Even supporters of the ruling regime should be dictated by their conscience to be ashamed by the grand lie. The only explanation is that the people voted and TPLF counted the votes and stole almost 100% of the votes. No need to make a statistical analysis to come to the conclusion that the vote distribution across the 43,000 polling stations is almost 100% in favor of the repressive ruling party.

The thugs deceived no one but themselves. The 99.64% sham ‘victory’ shall tarnish the image of TPLF for eternity in the annals of Ethiopian history.

The devil is in the details

The first disclosure of the results of the election was declared by Professor Merga Bekana, Chairman of the so-called National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), during his uneasy interview with the BBC on 24 May 2010. He stated that according to 75% of the votes counted to date the TPLF/ERPDF led by a margin of 14 to 1, which translated to a margin of 7.3 million votes. This margin is utterly false as argued in the following paragraph.

The number of registered voters is 31,926,520. Assuming the high voter turnout was 90% as claimed by NEBE, 31,926,520 * 0.90 = 28,733,868 votes were cast on the voting day – of which 75% of 28,733,868 = 21,550,401 votes have been counted at the time of the initial report to the public on BBC. Therefore the share of votes cast is obtained by solving the simple equation: x +14x = 21,550,401, where x is the number of votes cast for the oppositions.

Thus the oppositions got 1,436,693 and the ruling party amassed the remainder amounting to 20,113708. The margin in terms of votes cast is obviously 20,113,708 – 1,436,693 = 18,677,015. It is not 7.3 million votes as reported by Professor. The margin is embarrassingly much higher.

The corresponding number of voter turnout for the 7.3 million votes margin involving 75% voters whose votes were counted is deduced from the following equation: 14x – x = 7.3 million, which means x = 0.56 million and 14x = 7.84 million

Therefore, 0.56 million + 7.84 million = 8.42 million votes were already counted before the interview that the chairman of NEBE gave to BBC. Adding this to the remaining 25% uncounted votes, the number of voter turnout nationwide calculates to 10.525 million.

Thus the voter turnout nationwide was as low as 33% contradicting the claim that it was 90%. The learned Professor will have a lot of work to do in resolving this contradiction. The cunning Meles chose a gullible Professor from the Oromo ethnic group of my parental origin for his evil design to rig the election.

This is a grand charade! There will be more revelations as more in-depth analysis of the report of final results are made. The brutal regime will not be able to deliver any of its rosy promises without the direct budgetary support of Western donors. The regime has numerous parasitic mouths to feed in its clumsy and bloated government. There is no doubt that it will collapse under its own weight sooner than later – in fact much sooner unless donors find some kind of excuse to let the immoral flow of funds to the brutal regime to keep it afloat.

As to Professor Merga, he will have a hard time explaining anomalies and outright contradictions as more data are gathered and voter registers are scrutinized in the coming days until 21 June 2010 and beyond. Even worse, his conscience will blame him for the rest of his life for associating with thugs to diminish the hope of more than 80 million Ethiopians to live in peace in a free and democratic society.

The Ethiopian people did not vote in fair, free and credible election for tyrant Meles who spoke in gratitude to his supporters while standing in a bullet proof box in Meskel Square. Nothing will save the Professor from the disgrace that will befall him.

Reminder of fiasco of despotic regimes

No dictatorial regime has lasted in power through suppression and false promises. There are examples of totalitarian regimes that had ended in break up due to failure to deliver their promises of peace and prosperity, to wit:

The Great October Revolution of 1917 catapulted Vladimir Lenin to the helm of state machinery. Lenin, as Secretary General of the singular Bolshevik Party, knew and respected the value of intellectuals, scientists, medical doctors, engineers, economists, carrier diplomats et al in building a nation. He was wise to recognize the value of professionals and experts in transforming Russia into a great power and pleaded with them to join him and participate in the effort to build the Fatherland. For instance in order to realize his dream of electrification of Russia he persuaded and succeeded to get the support of a famous electrical engineer later dubbed as the father of Russian electrification who at first chose to do peddling at railway stations rather than to work with the communists. He understood the crucial importance of diplomacy in dealing with powers in the capitalist world and appealed to seasoned diplomats to undertake this sophisticated function. In short, he understood that mere waving of slogans could hardly contribute in building the national economy.

There is a true story that one day when Lenin was visiting a factory where he was briefed with pomp that the workers held 24 discussion forums during the year 23 of which were on revolutionary Marxist-Leninist democracy and one was on economics. According to the tourist guide, Lenin angrily retorted that it should have been the other way around, more discussion forum on productivity and less on politics. He drew arrows on the briefing chart to show where the numbers should have been recorded. I saw the arrows on the chart prominently displayed in a museum in Leningrad.

Unfortunately, the butcher Stalin succeeded Lenin. He showed no mercy in purging millions he perceived as having views contrary to his. But still he proved to be a hero in defending the USSR against the Nazis under Hitler. To his credit Stalin refused to give away an iota of national assets. He crushed any attempt for secession despite his theory.

The coward Mengistu disgracefully fled the country for all the reasons known to readers. In particular he went too far against security interests of the Western powers. He was reluctant to implement mixed-economy. He was as notorious as Stalin in demoralizing and purging the educated class. In all fairness however, his stand for the territorial integrity of Ethiopia is beyond reproach.

As soon as he took power Meles opened the floodgate for the exodus of intellectuals, scientists, medical doctors, engineers, economists, carrier diplomats. Meles and Mengistu share the traits of Stalin except former is worse in that he did colossal damage to vital national interests of Ethiopia including ceding fertile farmlands and willfully giving away the right of access to the Red Sea. His disgraceful fall from power is inevitable.

Way forward

Following measures are derivatives of my foregoing analysis of the outcome of election 2010 and the backlash arising there from. I hope that the measures outlined for the way forward are self-explanatory.

I wish to plead that constructive criticism of our heroes and heroines fighting on home soil are coupled with financial, material and moral support – for they are up against tyrant Meles who calls them his enemies; harasses, threatens and intimidates them.

  • Recognize the just ended election 2010 as a moral victory for the oppositions such as Medrek in exposing the true nature of tyrant Meles to the global community
  • Demand the immediate and unconditional release of Birtukan Mideksa and all political prisoners; intensify the struggle for zero-tolerance for politically motivated imprisonment
  • Persuade tyrant Meles to resign in order to make way for enlightened young leaders of his party that are amenable to the call for national harmony and reconciliation
  • Demand the opening of political space in all aspects; encourage and support the mushrooming of independent civil societies and non-government organizations
  • Support free and independent pro-democracy media outlets
  • Provide all round support, morally and materially, to pro-Ethiopia opposition forces struggling for change in the face of draconian odds placed in their path by the ruthless ruling regime; multiply the number of support groups to these forces in the Diaspora
  • Focus on opposition parties with large followers or members in rendering support; encourage merger so that the number of opposition democratic parties reduce to no more than three
  • Support civil disobedience and legitimate demands of citizens protesting against massive unemployment; inordinate abuse of civil liberties; rampant breach of TPLF’s own constitution and arbitrary disregard to rule of law
  • Keep on demanding that Meles is held accountable for all his heinous crimes including genocide
  • Recognize that the US and EU have genuine security interests in the volatile Horn of Africa region and its surroundings and assure them that extremism is better fought by democratic governments - not by despotic ones as in Ethiopia terrorizing its own people
  • Sharpen and enrich the Virginia Declaration as a roadmap for further effective action
  • Never give up hope; never relent in carrying out the noble duty of fighting for freedom with uncompromising spirit in the pursuit for a united, democratic, prosperous and multi-cultural Ethiopia that is equal to all of her citizens under the rule of law.

I submit that the above would be valuable inputs to our strategic plan in responding to tyrant Meles who calls democratic opposition forces his enemies.

In closing, I wish to reiterate my unqualified support for Medrek and my resolve to go all the way with its policy for peaceful change to a democratic society.

Release Birtukan Mideksa and all political prisoners in Ethiopia!


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