Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Lidetu Ayalew, the founder and the longest- serving president of Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP), rose to prominence in Ethiopia’s opposition politics during the highly contested 2005 general elections.
The aftermath of that election, although it won Lidetu and his party seats in parliament, alienated him from a strong support base due to a split within the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD). The impact continued during the 2010 general elections as EDP failed to win a single sit in parliament. And in 2011, Lidetu stepped down from his party’s presidency and virtually vanished from active politics since then. He then traveled to UK to do his MA in Developmental Studies at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies. As the country warms up to the fifth general elections, Lidetu, a member of EDP’s Central Committee, has resurfaced with a new book titled Tiyatre Boletica (Theatre of Politics). Solomon Goshu of The Reporter sat down with Lidetu to talk about his new book. Excerpts:
The Reporter: You seem to have vanished from the political scene. What have you been up to?
Lidetu Ayalew: I was studying in London for two years. Prior to that, I finished my term as president of the Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP) and a successor [Mushe Semu] was appointed. Although I am no longer in the Executive Committee, I am still a member of the Central Committee. And in that capacity, I am carrying out what is expected of me. The day-to-day task is performed by members of the executive committee. So, I am still active and will remain so in the future.
Read more at: The Reporter