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Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front

The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF; Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች አብዮታዊ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ግንባር ye’ītiyop’iya ḥizibochi ābiyotawī dīmokirasīyawī ginibari) is a left-wing ethnic federalist[2] political coalition in Ethiopia. The EPRDF consists of four political parties, namely Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) and Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement (SEPDM).[2]

Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front
ChairmanAbiy Ahmed
Deputy ChairmanDemeke Mekonnen
FoundedMay 1988; 31 years ago (1988-05)
HeadquartersAddis Ababa, Ethiopia
NewspaperNew Vision
Youth wingEPRDF Youth League
Women's wingEPRDF Women's League
Membership (2011)6,000,000[citation needed]
IdeologyRevolutionary democracy
Ethnic federalism
Until 1991:
Political positionCurrent:
Until 1991:
Colours     Red
Seats in the House of Peoples' Representatives
502 / 547
Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front
Participant in Oromo conflict, Ethiopian Civil War, Eritrean–Ethiopian War
Emblem of Ethiopia.svg
StatusRuling Collation
IdeologyEthnic federalism
FoundersMeles Zenawi
Leaders(conflict has ceased)
HeadquartersAddis Ababa, Ethiopia
Colours Ethiopia


During the Ethiopian Civil War, the EPRDF was a rebel group battling the Derg, a military regime led by Mengistu Haile Mariam that was effectively in power from 1974 until it was replaced by the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in 1987. During this period, the Derg was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of opponents without trial in the Qey Shibir and the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia resulting in 400,000 deaths.[3]

The EPRDF was formed by the union of the TPLF and the Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement (EPDM) in early-1989. They were later joined by the OPDO (the Oromo members of the TPLF, EPLF, and EPDM) and the Ethiopian Democratic Officers' Revolutionary Movement (a small body of Derg officers captured by TPLF, most notably at Shire in February 1989, which was later disbanded after the establishment of the Transitional Government of Ethiopia).[2]

Following the collapse of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in the early 1990s, the EPRDF gained support from the United States. Michael Johns, an Africa expert with The Heritage Foundation, wrote in 1991 that "there are some modestly encouraging signs that the front intends to abandon Mengistu's autocratic practices".[4]



The EPRDF is an alliance of four political parties:

The EPRDF is led by a Council as well as an Executive Committee, whose members are selected every three years by a congress of the party. The four member parties have the same organizational structure. Government and party structures are closely intertwined.[5]

The other five regions of Ethiopia are governed by parties which were either created or heavily influenced by the EPRDF.[6] One of the earliest was the Afar People's Democratic Organization in the Afar Region, which subsequently merged with other Afar political groups to create the Afar National Democratic Party (ANDP).[7] These are the five regional parties:[8]


The EPRDF has not espoused a well-defined unified ideology or political philosophy. Its members hold a variety of positions that could be broadly defined as being to the left of the opposition parties.[2] The EPRDF traditionally identified itself with a number of general goals, namely rapid export-based economic growth; close cooperation with the United States in foreign and defense policies; close cooperation with China on economic and trade policies: and several newer issues, such as administrative reform. Administrative reform encompassed several themes, namely simplification and streamlining of government bureaucracy; privatization of state-owned enterprises; and adoption of measures, including tax reform, in preparation for the expected strain on the economy posed by a rapidly growing population.[9] Other priorities in the early 1990s included the promotion of a more active and positive role for Ethiopia following the collapse of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the internationalization of Ethiopia's economy by the liberalization and promotion of domestic demand (expected to lead to the industrialization) and the promotion of education.[9] A business-inspired commitment to free enterprise was tempered by the insistence of protectionism and tariffs.

Election resultsEdit

Election Leader No. of candidates No. of seats won No. of Constituency votes % of Constituency vote Government/Opposition
1995 Meles Zenawi 1,881
471 / 500
16,429,727 82.9%
2000 Meles Zenawi
472 / 527
2005 Meles Zenawi
327 / 527
59.8% Government
2010 Meles Zenawi 1,349
499 / 547
2015 Hailemariam Desalign 1,851
500 / 547
26,403,177 Government


  1. ^ {{Cite web|url= |title=Alem Habtu, "Ethnic Federalism in Ethiopia: Background, Present Conditions and Future Prospects"}
  2. ^ a b c d Vaughan, Sarah (2003). "Ethnicity and Power in Ethiopia" (PDF). Archived 13 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine University of Edinburgh: Ph.D. Thesis. p. 168.
  3. ^ de Waal, Alex (1997). Famine Crimes: Politics & the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa. Oxford: James Currey. ISBN 0-85255-810-4.
  4. ^ Johns, Michael (August 1991). "Does Democracy Have a Chance?". The World and I, in: The Congressional Record (6 May 1992).
  5. ^ Parteien in Äthiopien: Zwischen ethnischer Orientierung und Programmausrichtung (PDF). Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
  6. ^ Chanie, Paulos (2007). "Clientelism and Ethiopia's post-1991 decentralisation". The Journal of Modern African Studies. 45 (3): 355–384. doi:10.1017/S0022278X07002662.
  7. ^ Yasin, Yasin Mohammed (2008). "Political history of the Afar in Ethiopia and Eritrea" (PDF). African Affairs, in: Africa Spectrum. 42 (1): p. 39–65.
  8. ^ Aalen, Lovise (2006). "Ethnic Federalism and Self-Determination for Nationalities in a Semi-Authoritarian State: the Case of Ethiopia". International Journal on Minority and Group Rights. 13 (2): 243–261. doi:10.1163/157181106777909849.
  9. ^ a b Ethiopia's Great Run: The Growth Acceleration and How to Pace It (PDF). World Bank. 2015.