Oromo Democratic Party

The Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) was a political party in Ethiopia, and part of the alliance with the Amhara National Democratic Movement, the South Ethiopian Peoples' Democratic Front and the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front that forms the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). At the last legislative elections, 15 May 2005, the party was part of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, that won 327 out of 527 seats.[3]

Oromo Democratic Party
ChairmanAbiy Ahmed Ali
Deputy ChairmanLemma Megersa
Head of Central Committee OfficeAddisu Arega Kitessa [1]
FoundedMarch 1982[2]
DissolvedDecember 2019
Succeeded byProsperity Party
HeadquartersAddis Ababa, Ethiopia
Youth wingODP Youth League
IdeologyDemocratic socialism
Oromo self-determination
Political positionLeft-wing
National affiliationEthiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front
ColorsRed, Green and Gold
Party flag
Flag of the Oromo Peoples' Democratic Organization.png

In the August 2005 Regional assembly elections, the party won 387 out of 537 seats in the Oromia Region, and 14 out of 36 seats in the Harari Region.[4]

In November 2019, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front Chairman began the unification of the constituent parties of the coalition into a new Prosperity Party.[5]


The Oromo Democratic Party, formerly known as the Oromo Peoples' Democratic Organization (OPDO), was created in 1990 after the relations of the existing Oromo Liberation Front with TPLF soured while they were fighting against the Ethiopian Democratic People's Republic. In a recent book authored by Gebru Asrat (ሉዓላዊነትና ዴሞክራሲ በኢትዮጵያ ገብሩ አስራት 2006 ዓ.ም), a veteran TPLF leader who took part in the creation of OPDO said that the TPLF had to resort to its Oromo speaking war captives to recruit members for the organization as Oromos living abroad, including those refugees in the Sudan and the wider Oromo diaspora in North America and Europe rejected TPLF's call to join the organization to be formed anew. Citing the role of elites in articulating political, economic and cultural problems in any society, Mr. Gebru argued in his book that these early members whom were former war captives had neither the capability nor sociopolitical know-how to understand and articulate Oromo problems at the time. At first a weak organization, according to Paul B. Henze, the OPDO attracted defectors from Derg military units and gained supporters when in 1991 the EPRDF occupied parts of the provinces of Wollo and Shewa, both of which had significant Oromo majorities.[6]

In 2001, the OPDO was rocked by a series of corruption scandals, which led to the ouster of then secretary general Kuma Demeksa on charges of corruption, "anti-democratic practices", abuse of power and nepotism. Major-General Abadula Gemeda at the time resigned from his position in the Ethiopian National Defense Force and took control of the entroubled OPDO.[7]

The OPDO is known to be dominated by Christian Oromos. The Muslim Oromos expressed their discontent during the 2005 Ethiopian general election, denouncing the other side for participating in nepotism.[8]

The OPDO held their fourth congress on 23 February 2006 in Adama.[9]

In the 2008 by-elections, the OPDO won 23 seats in the Oromia Regional legislature, and 613 seats from 108 kebeles for elections to the Kebeles Peoples' Representatives Council.[10]

OPDO changed its name to Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) on its annual meeting held on 20 September 2018 in Jimma.[11]


  1. ^ [1] Addisu Arega assigned as Head of ODP Secretariat
  2. ^ About us Archived 2016-03-17 at the Wayback Machine OPDO
  3. ^ Ethiopian House of Peoples' Representatives Website Archived 2007-09-26 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ African Elections Database
  5. ^ Exclusive: Third day EPRDF EC discussing “Prosperity Party” Regulation. Find the draft copy obtained by AS
  6. ^ Paul B. Henze, Layers of Time: A History of Ethiopia (New York: Palgrave, 2000), p. 322.
  7. ^ "Ethiopian general opts for politics", BBC-Africa, 30 July 2001 (accessed 13 March 2009)
  8. ^ Contested Power in Ethiopia: Traditional Authorities and Multi-Party Elections. BRILL. p. 189.
  9. ^ "The Fourth Conference of O.P.D.O. Kicks off at Adama" (Oromia State Government website, accessed 6 October 2006)
  10. ^ "The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia Official Result of the Local and By-Elections Held on April 13 and April 20, 2008", Walta Information Center, May 2008 (accessed 17 March 2009)
  11. ^ "OPDO changes name, logo". Fanabc. Archived from the original on 20 September 2018. Retrieved 20 September 2018.