The Prosperity Party (Amharic: ብልጽግና ፓርቲ, romanized: Bilits’igina Paritī; Oromo: Paartii Badhaadhiinaa) is a political party in Ethiopia that was established on 1 December 2019 as a successor to the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) by incumbent Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The merger into a countrywide party is part of Abiy's general policy of distancing the country's politics from ethnic federalism. It ran for the first time in the 2021 general election.
|Founded||1 December 2019|
|House of Peoples' Representatives|
454 / 547Nebe, Nebe
The Prosperity Party was formed and formally recognised by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) in December 2019 through the merging of three former EPRDF member parties, the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) and the Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement (SEPDM). The Afar National Democratic Party (ANDP), the Benishangul-Gumuz People's Democratic Unity Front (BGPDUF), the Ethiopian Somali People's Democratic Party (ESPDP), the Gambela People's Democratic Movement (GPDM) and the Hareri National League (HNL) were also included in the merger. The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), the only one not to join the new party, was critical of it upon its formation. The animosity between the two eventually escalated into the Tigray conflict in November 2020.
The program and by-laws of the party were first approved by the executive committee of the EPRDF. Abiy tweeted:
The unanimous decision passed today to merge the Party is a crucial step in harnessing our energy to work toward a shared vision. Prosperity Party is committed to strengthening & applying a true Federal system which recognizes the diversity and contributions of all Ethiopians.
The Prosperity Party has been seen as supporters of Ethiopian civic nationalism due to the merger of the Oromo Democratic Party with the Amhara Democratic Party, Argoba People's Democratic Organization, Benishangul-Gumuz People's Democratic Unity Front, Ethiopian Somali People's Democratic Party, Gambela People's Democratic Movement, Afar National Democratic Party, Hareri National League, and the Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement ethnicity-based political parties into the new multi-ethnic party, thus moving these predecessor parties away from their ethnic nationalist and pro-ethnic federalism past into a party that promotes a unified Ethiopian national identity and non-ethnicity based federalism — all of which are seen by opponents as steps towards taking political powers based on group rights away from the various ethnic groups, while proponents see it as a way to move Ethiopian politics and governmental administration away from ethnicity-based identity politics, supporting the individual rights of each person, to mitigate the rise of ethnic nationalism, to foster national unity and solidarity, and to include in the democratic process political parties of several ethnic groups and regions that were once deemed too inferior by the Tigray People's Liberation Front-led Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front regime to fully join the one-party dominated coalition government or be full partakers in revolutionary democracy because of their largely pastoralist way of life.
Internal organisation and ethnic tensions within the partyEdit
The Prosperity Party (PP) exists along ethnic lines. There is an Amhara PP (APP), an Oromo PP (OPP), a Somali PP (SPP), a Sidama PP (SPP), and a Tigrayan PP, led by Nebiyou Shulmichael and of which Abraham Belay and Mulu Nega are prominent members. Many other ethnic groups have their own PP branch as well. There exists a substantial divide between the Oromo and Amhara wings of the party, with academic Tobias Hagmann noting that the two sides are largely kept together through opposition to the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
The Tigrayan PP is in strong conflict with the TPLF as it is a supporter of Abiy Ahmed in the Tigray War (2020-2021). Due to this war, the Tigray PP has become isolated in Tigrayan public opinion to the point that one of the regional PP leaders, Abraham Belay, was forbidden by his own mother to visit her house and her neighbourhood. In March 2021, the Oromia Prosperity Party (OPP) and Amhara Prosperity Party (APP) came with opposite statements, each blaming the other for being the cause of violence and killings.
The party's logo consists of two black hands holding three human figures, one blue, one yellow, and one pink, with sun rays shooting outwards from the human figures.
- Kana, Lauriane (12 March 2022). "Ethiopian PM Abiy calls for peace at launch of party's first congress". Retrieved March 12, 2022.
- Yibeltal, Kalkidan (22 November 2019). "Ethiopia's Abiy Ahmed gets a new ruling party". BBC News.
- Gerth-Niculescu, Maria. "Can PM Abiy Ahmed breach Ethiopia's ethnic divide?". Deutsche Welle.
- Gedamu, Yohannes. "Why Abiy Ahmed's Prosperity Party is good news for Ethiopia". www.aljazeera.com.
- Habtewold, Melaku (December 24, 2019). "Why Prosperity Party is needed" – via www.ethiopia-insight.com.
- "Who Will Win the Next Ethiopian Elections?". January 10, 2020 – via www.ezega.com.
- "Highlight 17/2021 - The Fallout of Ethnic Federalism". MEIG Programme. MEIGprogramme. 12 May 2021. Retrieved 30 July 2021..
- "The EPRDF Officially Ends; The Prosperity Party Begins". Ezega News. 2019-12-26. Archived from the original on 2020-12-16. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
- Gedamu, Yohannes (13 December 2019). "The new political party of Ethiopia's lead by Abiy faces significant hurdles". Quartz Africa. Quartz. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
- "Ethiopia's ruling coalition agrees to form single party ahead of 2020 vote". Reuters. 21 November 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
- Allo, Awol K. "How Abiy Ahmed's Ethiopia-first nationalism led to civil war". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
- "Context and Updates on Current Issues in Ethiopia". Embassy of Ethiopia, London. 2020-07-08. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
- Gedamu, Yohannes (13 December 2019). "The new political party of Ethiopia's Abiy holds much promise but faces significant hurdles". Quartz Africa. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
- Gebreluel, Goitom. "Analysis | Ethiopia's prime minister wants to change the ruling coalition. Who's getting left out?". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
- Mamdani, Mahmood (2019-01-03). "Opinion | The Trouble With Ethiopia's Ethnic Federalism (Published 2019)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
- Ethiopian News Agency, 29 December 2020.Tigray Prosperity Party Inaugurates Office in Mekelle
- New Business Ethiopia, 19 February 2020: Abiy meets Prosperity Party leaders from Tigray
- Hagmann, Tobias (November 23, 2021). "Ethiopia's civil war: Five reasons why history won't repeat itself". The Conversation. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
- Jan Nyssen, 2021. The situation in Tigray at the beginning of 2021. Preprint for HBS.[self-published source]
- Addis Standard, 24 March 2021: Amhara & Oromia PP engage in war of words as relative peace returns to violence hit areas
- Addisstandard (2021-03-22). "News: Unknown number of people killed in ongoing violence in Oromia Special Zone and North Shewa Zone, Amhara region as warring factions trade blame". Addis Standard. Retrieved 2021-03-24.