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The exact period when the ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front’s (EPRDF), 11th congress will be held is not yet decided, Capital learnt. The congress will be rescheduled for the second time since the death of the long serving party chairman Meles Zenawi.
The party that usually holds its organizational conference every two years has not decided the date for its upcoming event.
The party, a coalition of four ethnic based political organizations, usually schedules its congress every two years in the last days before Ethiopian New Year or in the days between August and early September. However the 11th Organizational congress is not yet held as per the usual trend.
Shiferaw Shigute, Head of EPRDF office, told Capital that the party has not yet decided the exact date for when the congress will be held.
“We will disclose the date for the public when we have decided the date,” he added.
However, sources said that the congress is expected be held in the coming March 2018.
It was recalled that the party had postponed its 9th congress that was scheduled to be held in the fourth quarter of 2012 by six months to March 2013. At the time the party disclosed that it postponed the 9th congress due to the death of its leader, Meles Zenawi, who chaired the coalition since its formation.
The 9th congress that took place for the first time without Meles was held in Bahir Dar, Amhara region, from March 23 to 26, 2013.
The 10th EPRDF congress was held in Mekelle, Tigrai region early September 2015 within the usual period.
Before the coalition congress the ethnic based parties, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) have to elect, by vote during their conference, central committee members to participant in the general congress.
The information Capital obtained from EPRDF office indicated that the agenda for the upcoming congress has not been officially set, yet.
As per the party’s rule the EPRDF congress has to be held within two or two and half year period.
Sources said that the party is engaged in wide range of reforms among members that forced to extend the congress.
Since the unrest a year ago the ruling party has declared fighting against corruption and reshuffling officials on merit and political commitment. In the past few months the federal attorney general has arrested several medium and higher level officials on allegation of corruption. The ride is expected to continue in the near future, according to the statement of the federal government.
The congress has significant impact on the country’s political and economic situations since it is the meeting of the ruling party that manages the country for the past quarter of a century, since the downfall of the Derg regime.
On its congress in the past the party shows its future strategy for the economic and social developments in the country.
The eleventh Organizational Congress of EPRDF is expected to take place in March in Hawassa, SNNPR.
The congress is held in rotation around towns of regions that represent the four ethnic based parties.