The newly formed Ethiopian Prosperity Party (EPP) that is led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and EZEMA Party that is led by Dr Berhanu Nega have started merger talks, according to sources close to EZEMA.
EPP is formed after three of the four parties that make up the ruling coalition, Ethiopian People’s Democratic Front (EPRDF), decided to merge and become a unitary party last week.
EZEMA is not the only political party that has been invited by PM Abiy to join or merge with EPP, but it is a major one and the merger is expected to have a significant impact on the realignment of forces in Ethiopian politics.
The main stumbling block for the merger of EPP and EZEMA is said to be ideological. EZEMA rejects ethnic- and language-based federalism, while EPP embraces it.
The talks between the two parties may convince EZEMA to temporarily set aside its objection to ethnic-based federalism until a newly elected parliament takes on the issues after the May 2020 elections. EZEMA is pushing for amending the current constitution.
EZEMA spokesperson Natnael Feleke has denied the report in a Facebook message to Mereja.com. Ato Natnael asserted that there is no such talk between EPP and EZEMA.