By Saartuu Magarsaa
A democratic system by the people for the people can be erected only if a body that decides on any dispute on the result of the election process is neutral and is acceptable by all parties and the playing field is equal for all parties. In a genuine democratic process, election is not a duty which can be accomplished overnight; it constitutes a lengthy and continued process. In a genuine democratic process what needs to be evaluated is not whether or not an election is done, but the process by which the election is executed. What is most important is whether the process is democratic and followed the election rules. The people should participate in the entire process without any restriction. Establishment of the election board, voter registration, assignment of election observers, counting of votes, distribution of ballots, should be carried through transparent process in which the people and all parties that participate in the election agreed up on. Election is not something which the government decides on behalf of the people and present to the people; it is rather a decision made by the vote of the people.
It is only under an election process in a democratic system described above that the elected leaders, the established government, the delegates assigned to governmental positions, the decision made by such leaders, the constitution, law, and policies legislated by such rulers be lawful and acceptable by the people. The people are obliged to take instructions, rules, and orders from the leaders and delegates of the government that is erected following the democratic process given above. The people have the right to reject the rules and orders of leaders and government delegates assigned to an office through an election carried by an undemocratic process and have the right protest against such leaders and remove them from office.
The current despotic regime of the Ethiopian empire lead by Woyane-TPLF coming from the minority Tigrai region which constitute only 6% of the population of the empire fears the Oromo people which constitutes about 50% of the Ethiopian population because in a democratic system a party with the highest votes establishes the government, enacts the constitution and allows the people to exercise their right for self-determination. Due to such fear it never allowed a stage or forum whereby political competition takes place. During the Transitional Government In 1991-92, the OLF was able to obtain more than 90% followers from among the Oromo people. When the TPLF knew that if this support were to be translated in to vote the Oromo people would easily determine their future and that the dreams of the regime to rule over Oromia, subjugate the Oromo people and exploit their natural resources is thwarted, they pushed the OLF from the transitional arrangement using their military force of the time and established a fake election full of fraud whereby it competed with itself and “won”. Since then, Ethiopia is conducting the same type of sham election until today.
Although the Ethiopian government led by TPLF has conducted four elections, all of the elections didn’t follow democratic principles. As a result, the elections could not produce leaders of the government which follow and respect the law and the constitution based on the interest of the peoples of the country. The oppressive Ethiopian government doesn’t want important issues that need the decision of the Oromo people to be presented for a vote. Instead, it presents issues and rules that it already enacted behind close-doors and rules that enable it to extend the subjugation of the Oromo and other nations and nationalities and exploitation of their natural resources. It never worked toward the fulfilment of the interest of the oppressed people. The Oromo people and Oromia were subjugated during the second half of the 19th century. The Oromo people are struggling to get back their freedom which they lost through the barrel of a gun. Freedom can never be obtained through a fake so called election which a despotic regime exercises for the purpose of strengthening its grip on power. If the Woyane-TPLF led Ethiopian government were truthful about genuine democratic system they would allow the Oromo people to choose one of Independent and free Oromia or united Ethiopia through a democratic referendum.
As noted above, the Woyane_TPLF government which inherited and ruling the Ethiopian Empire is a government established by successive fake elections. It is a government which kills Oromo youth and drag their dead body on the street; committed mass killing of the Oromo and throw their body in the jungle whereby they are eaten by wild animals; dismisses Oromo students from school for asking the right of the Oromo people; arrests and tortures more than hundred thousand Oromo nationals at a time. It is a government which evicted and still evicts thousands of Oromo farmers from their ancestral land; caused hundreds of thousands of Oromo people to escape their country and take refuge in many dangerous countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, etc by risking their lives over international seas and oceans; exposed the Oromo people to poverty, starvation, and disease; sells Oromo land and exploits other natural resources; burned Oromian forests and forced wild animals to flee to neighboring countries and be exterminated. The current Ethiopian government is a government which suppresses the rights of several oppressed people of the Horn of Africa and is a cause for the lack of peace in the region. It is a government which exploits the human and natural wealth of the Oromo people, denied the basic human rights and committed mass murder on the Oromo and other nations and nationalities such as Gambela, Benishangul, Sidama, Wolayita, Kaficho, Ogaden, Afar, etc; mass murders which many categorize as genocide. Therefore, an election led by such brutal and murderous regime cannot form a government which serves the interest of the oppressed nations and nationalities of the empire. Such an election can only result in strengthening of the oppressive government structures of the regime which will be used in further oppression of the nations and nationalities it has occupied by force.
The Oromo people and other oppressed nations and nationalities should realize that their fundamental question of ownership of their country can only get answer when their struggle for freedom of their country ends in victory and not by the fake election led by the same regime from which they seek their freedom. Freedom of a country, peace, development, and a life of happiness of the Oromo and other nations and nationalities under the Ethiopian empire will depend on a victory of their struggle for freedom democracy and justice. The Oromo people should not be part of the sharpening of a knife that is used in beheading of their neck. The current election is such a knife being prepared to tear them apart. The Oromo people and other oppressed peoples of Ethiopia should not choose between two oppressors; such a choice would be a choice between a hungry beast and a beast with full stomach. One is not better than the other. For the oppressed peoples of Ethiopia, participating in the election led by the same regime which is killing them, torturing them, selling their land, controling all the state power on the hands of few gangs coming from a single minority Tigrean group in the north amounts to tightening of a rope on their neck. Therefore the Oromo and other oppressed people should not only boycott this fake election, but also struggle for the abortion and failure of such drama by the name of election.
Victory to the Oromo People!