by Alemayehu G Mariam
Congratulations are in order to the T-TPLF for winning a hard fought thuglection!
“Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.”
But not in T-TPLF’s Ethiopia!
Poor Ethiopia is condemned to wear the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean People Liberation Front (T-TPLF) diaper for five more years, for a total of 25. That is a quarter of a century. Talk about a country with a super-duper streak of BAD LUCK.
Well!! First things first. I should like to think myself a gentleman, a scholar, and an officer, of the court, that is. Even victors of rigged and phony elections deserve obligatory profession of homage.
Naturally, it is a matter of noblesse oblige for me. I should react with magnanimity and discreet charm in acknowledging T-TPLF’s crushing “election victory.”
Well!! Congraaaatulations T-TPLF! (Of course, I congratulated the T-TPLF last year for winning the election today. I have done it several times over the past few months.) Still, what must be said must be said.
Congratulations, T-TPLF for a flawlessly rigged election. Way to go T-TPLF for putting on an exquisitely whitewashed election. Hip hip hooray for conducting the best thuglection anywhere in the second decade of the Century!
Kudos! T-TPLF. You have “won”. I mean your “thuglection”. Obviously, not the hearts and minds of the Ethiopian people. That you will never win. Just like you will never, never win their respect, admiration or gratitude. Not in a thousand years! Deal with it!
How did the T-TPLF manage to exact such a crushing “victory”?
That’s not exactly ancient Chinese secret.
Perhaps I will take that back. I am sure the Chinese have taught the T-TPLF a thing or two about hijacking (thug-jacking an election, another one of my new word contributions to the English language) an election.
In the 2007-08 National Peoples Congress election, the Communist Party of China won 100 percent of the 2,987 seats.
In 2010, the T-TPLF missed winning 100 percent of the 547 seats in “parliament” by 2 seats. The T-TPLF won 99.6 percent, missed it by a doggone measly four-tenths of one percent.
How did the T-TPLF do it in 2010, and again in 2015?
Here is the secret to T-TPLF’s thuglection winning streak:
The T-TPLF “won” by exchanging “votes” for cash. Straight up!
The T-TPLF traded “votes” for seeds, fertilizer and welfare payments.
The T-TPLF used US aid (also known as “hard earned American tax dollars”) to round up “votes”.
The T-TPLF used a racket called Protection of Basic Services (welfare payments) money to squeeze “votes”.
The T-TPLF bartered food for “votes” with starving people.
The T-TPLF bought “votes” under the table.
The T-TPLF bribed, intimidated and threatened to get “votes”.
The T-TPLF did a whole lot of wheeling and dealing to get “votes”.
The T-TPLF stole “votes” in broad daylight.
The T-TPLF stuffed ballots to show it got all the “votes”.
The T-TPLF got the dead to rise up just to vote.
The T-TPLF owned and managed the election commission that “monitored” the “votes”.
The T-TPLF assigned its goons at the polling stations to ensure the voters “voted” as they should vote.
The T-TPLF jailed, prosecuted and persecuted its opposition so they will not compete for “votes”.
The T-TPLF thug-terrorized “votes” out of people by pitting one ethnic group against another; one religious group against another. If you don’t vote for the T-TPLF, the “Amhara” will come back. If you don’t vote for the T-TPLF, the “Oromo” will throw you out of Oromia. If you don’t vote for the T-TPLF, the Christians… the Muslims… will… If you don’t vote for the T-TPLF, the sky will fall on your head.
The T-TPLF discounted the “votes”.
The T-TPLF counted more votes than there are voters (not including the dead voters that rose up just to vote.)
Above all else, the T-TPLF counted the “votes”. The T-TPLF counted the votes and decided that though all votes are created equal, some “votes” are more equal than others. The T-TPLF “votes” are more equal than all other votes! One T-TPLF votes equals to thousands of other votes.
So that is the little secret to the T-TPLF’s “free, fair and credible” thuglection winning streak.
Thugs (continue to) rule in Ethiopia!
The T-TPLF has ruled Ethiopia since 1991. Today T-TPLF-ites are dancing in the streets celebrating their crushing “electoral victory”.
They go on marching and chanting, “T-TPLF today! T-TPLF tomorrow! T-TPLF forever!”
Umm! That reminds me of George Wallace. He was the rabidly racist governor of Alabama in the 1960s. He was the one who declared, “Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!”
That analogy is not really that farfetched when you think about it. The T-TPLF’s “kililism” is nothing but a modernized version of apartheid “Bantustans”. The only difference is that in apartheid it is all about racial segregation. In “kililism” it all about ethnic segregation. Apartheid was used by the white minority government to divide and rule South Africa by racial segregation. “Kililism” is used by the T-TPLF to divide and rule Ethiopia by ethnic and linguistic segregation. The T-TPLF has practiced ethnic demonization and ethnic cleansing widely, especially against the “Amhara” and the people of Gambella.
The former T-TPLF defense minister a few years ago said, “Kaliti Prison speaks Oromiffa, and 99% of one of the camps housing hundreds of inmates at Kality Prison are Oromo. Many of the detainees don’t know their charges but have counted years as OLF suspects.” Even in prison the T-TPLF practices segregation.
Truth be told, the T-TPLF’s “kililism” is the real-life equivalent of “Jim Crowism” in the old American South. By law, they segregated everything by race. They even segregated drinking fountains. The T-TPLF segregates Ethiopians by their ethnicity and language. It is the law. They call it “nations, nationalities and peoples”. It is a clever scam to keep the people divided, confused and without a national identity.
The T-TPLF expects to keep its grip on power through “elections” today and tomorrow by keeping “kililism” alive. The T-TPLF holds “elections” every five years to rejuvenate “kililism”. There is no T-TPLF without kililism. There is no kililism without the T-TPLF. They are peas in a pod. Such is the deadly cancer that has metastasized in the Ethiopian body politics.
For the T-TPLF, elections are convenient gimmicks to buy time; to prolong their grip on power for one more day; one more week; one more month and one more year.
With the active support and encouragement of the fat cat donors and loaners, the T-TPLF runs election scams and con games.
For the T-TPLF, “elections” are powerful weapons of mass deception.
For the T-TPLF, elections are also powerful weapons of political destruction. They use elections to decimate the press, the opposition, dissidents, civil society and human rights advocates.
A T-TPLF election is an elaborate illusion stage-managed to hoodwink and bamboozle the people. The loaners and donors are the all-too-willing stage hands. They pull all the strings and levers behind the scenes.
T-TPLF elections are as real as the Easter bunny and Santa Claus
Anyone who believes in the T-TPLF victory today (besides needing to get their heads examined) must also believe in the Easter bunny handing out colored eggs from a basket and Santa Claus flying in his sleigh delivering gifts on Christmas eve.
Is there any reasonable person who believes the T-TPLF won the election today fair and square? Is there anyone who is fooled by the thuglection victory of the T-TPLF ignoramuses?
To believe the people of Ethiopia today voted for T-TPLF representation for another five more years is to believe lambs voted for a cackle of hyenas or pack of wolves to protect them.
A T-TPLF election is like inviting starving people to a cookout. When they show up for the feast, they are handed glossy photos of mouth-watering dishes. They are allowed to look at the photos and salivate and drool all they want, but they will never get to taste the tasty morsels.
Today, May 24, 2015, Ethiopians went to the polling stations dreaming to feast on a banquet of democracy. All they got is a piece of indigestible pulp to drop in the ballot box. They went home with an empty stomach.
The great Bob Marley taught us something about men and women going home on an empty stomach. “Them belly full, but we hungry;/A hungry mob is a angry mob… /Cost of livin’ gets so high,/ Rich and poor they start to cry:/ Now the weak must get strong; /…/ Now the weak must get strong.
Talking about being hungry, Meles Zenawi once said the ultimate test of his accomplishments will be whether his regime is able to ensure Ethiopians had three meals a day. Only T-TPLF members and supporters get three meals a day. Everybody else gets an empty stomach. Today, the test is building the biggest damned dam in all of Africa.
People are starving, the T-TPLF is building dams. Damn, that’s just messed up!
Today, May 24, 2015, the people of Ethiopia are angry because their voice has been stolen in broad daylight. They are also hungry for democracy. There are millions of angry and hungry Ethiopians today sitting and chafing, biding their time.
So, no more crying for them. No more crying for the beloved country. Ethiopians weakened from division and confusion must now unite and get strong and stronger every day because the T-TPLF is getting weaker and weaker every day.
How the T-TPLF looks at its “victory”
The T-TPLF’s core belief is that Ethiopians, other than T-TPLF members and supporters, all ignorant and dumb cowards. That is just a fact. I did not make it up. It is their people who told me.
The T-TPLF’s core philosophy is, “those who are not for us are against us.” They have no regard for the benevolent maxim, “Those who are not against us are for us.”
The T-TPLF practices its belief and philosophy in their own fantasy echo chamber. “The people love us. They adore us. They want us and nobody else.”
In 2010, Meles Zenawi, the late demi-god of the T-TPLF, anticipating (assured of) his triumphant “victory” in which the T-TPLF “won” 99.6 percent of the seats in “parliament”, proclaimed how much love and support he and his gang enjoyed in the population. Meles said:
The preliminary results have shown that the great majority of our people have with great dignity reached a consensus as to who should lead the country in the next five years, in a spirit of freedom and peace…. With great humility, [we] offer our gratitude and appreciation to the voters who have given us their support freely and democratically. We also offer our thanks to the real backbone of our organization, the women of Ethiopia… and youth of Ethiopia for their unwavering support and enthusiasm!… We also thank… the vast majority of the residents of our cities and the farmers of our country who actually consider themselves and the [TPLF doing business as EPDRF] as two sides of a coin…
In a curious remark, Meles pledged to win every last vote of those who did not vote for his party in 2015:
We… understand that there are people who have not voted for us. I would like to state here in no unequivocal manner that we will respect the decision of those who did not vote for us… I would like to confirm to those who did not vote for us that we will work hard to look into your reasons for not voting for us with the view to learning from them and correcting any shortcomings on our part. We will work day and night to obtain your support in the next election. (Emphasis added.)
Few knew “great majority” and “vast majority” meant 99.6 percent control of the seats. In the T-TPLF’s fantasy echo chamber, a 99.6 percent victory makes perfect sense because the people “love” them. Moammar Gadhafi said the same thing. “They love me. All my people with me, they love me. They will die to protect me, my people.” A few days later, the people showed him how much they loved him. It was not a pretty sight.
Why would the T-TPLF announce a 99.6 percent victory and expect to be believed? There are only two answers: 1) The T-TPLF believes the Ethiopian people are dumber than a box of rocks. 2) The T-TPLF is dumber than a box of rocks to believe the Ethiopian people believe its 99.6 percent “victory”. Take your pick.
By the way, Evelyn Sherman, the T-TPLF’s newest protector, guardian and champion, copped the attitude that Ethiopians are dumb from the T-TPLF. I just don’t understand how dumb must one be to say, “Ethiopia is a young democracy” poised to execute “a free, fair and credible election. Talking about dumb and dumber, somebody needs to tell Evelyn Sherman and her T-TPLF flunkies that the Ethiopian people are not as dumb as they look.
It is funny how Sherman thinks or doesn’t. She says “Ethiopia is a young democracy.” A young democracy being raised by an old and decrepit dictatorship? Do hyenas raise lambs? Do snakes give birth to doves? Can you make new wine by pouring old wine in a new bottle? I just don’t understand how some people think or don’t.
Of course, Sherman is not the only willfully ignorant high level American policy maker to feel free to insult our intelligence and injure our dignity.
Susan Rice, Obama’s National Security advisor did it in her eulogy of Meles Zenawi in 2012. She said, Meles “of course had little patience for fools, or idiots, as he liked to call them.” She was obviously proud to let the “fools and idiots” know how Meles felt about them. She did not say who they were exactly. It is not difficult to decipher who “they” are. It is well-known that Meles had great contempt for many of the very top leaders of the T-TPLF. He had even greater contempt for the Ethiopian people. Those who knew him closely can testify to that.
Meles once said his T-TPLF’s crushing victory was assured except in “pastoral areas” (among nomads?): “There is no village that I know of in the rural areas that did not vote for us. Expect in the pastoral areas. We stand no chance in those areas. We are not even going to contest elections there. People there are completely ignorant and not interested. The opposition is completely ignorant so we had the whole field for us alone…” (Emphasis added.)
Imagine that! The High Priest of Ignoramuses calling “pastoral people” and the “opposition “ignorant”. Well, ignorant is as ignorant does, and says.
Anyway, the lesson Meles taught his T-TPLF disciples in 2010 for the 2015 “election” was simple and clear: “Work day and night” to get the support of “those who did not vote for us” in 2010.
Meles has nothing to worry about. In May 2015, the only thing the T-TPLF has to do is take a leisurely cakewalk to a 100 percent victory.
In 2010, only four-tenths (4/10) of one percent did not vote for the T-TPLF. They had shagged, snagged, tagged and bagged the 99.6 percent.
How difficult is it for the T-TPLF to win four-tenths of one percent of the vote in 2015? As difficult as taking candy from a baby?
Post “Election” Analysis
For the past year (actually for the past 5 years), I have been predicting that the 2015 Ethiopian “election” will prove to be a sham, a travesty of democracy and a mockery and caricature of democratic elections. So, what’s the T-TPLF election song and dance all about?
Fact #1: The May 24, 2015 election has nothing to do with the Ethiopian people, democracy or good governance.
Ethiopians and others interested in Ethiopian affairs should clearly understand that the May 24, 2015 elections is not about good governance or the welfare and well-being of the Ethiopian people. The “election” has everything to do with the interests and demands of the T-TPLF bankrollers including the U.S., the U.K., the EU, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The 2015 election was ordered by the mighty donors and loaners! Everyone should know and accept this fact. The donors and loaners wrote the election script for the T-TPLF a long time ago and handed it to Meles, the Architect-in-Chief. With the advice and consent of the loaners and donors, the T-TPLF installed a bumbling country bumpkin who gets tongue-tied trying to answer a simple question.
Were it up to the ignorant TPLF thugs, they would just as soon forget about election games and cling to power thug-style, by brute force.
But why would the donors and loaners order an election? For several reasons.
First, they can evade and avoid moral responsibility for supporting a thug regime that arbitrarily jails, tortures, and kills its citizens. The Obama Administration would have a more difficult time to support the T-TPLF without an election ritual. Last month, Evelyn Sherman, U.S. Undersecretary of State showed up in Addis Ababa to give final instructions on how the T-TPLF is to conduct the “election”. The T-TPLF got the message. That’s why Sherman declared, “Ethiopia is a democracy that is moving forward in an election that we expect to be free, fair, credible open and inclusive in ways Ethiopia has moved forward in strengthening its democracy every time there is an election. It gets better and better.”
Second, an “election” provides a moral excuse for the donors and loaners to continue pumping and dumping billions of dollars in the T-TPLF black hole where all aid and loans check in but never check out. Of course, the donors and loaners know they are supporting thugs in designer suits. Wendy Sherman showered the T-TPLF with praise last month to the point of making some T-TPLF leaders blush. Even some T-TPLF leaders thought Sherman went a bit overboard with her praise. The Washington Post in thinly-veiled disgust editorialized: “If the election is not judged by independent observers to live up to Ms. Sherman’s billing, the administration should swallow her words — and change its approach.”
Third, an “election” shields the loaners and donors against criticism from human rights organizations. On April 17, 2015, a day after Wendy Sherman put her foot in her mouth with the “Ethiopia is a young democracy” statement, she faced the wrath of Amnesty International USA, Ethiopia Human Rights Project, Freedom House, Freedom Now, Human Rights Watch and International Rivers in a letter to Secretary John Kerry. They urged “the Department of State to issue a statement on the elections highlighting the systematic deficiencies that will prevent the Ethiopian government from meeting the standards of democratic elections outlined by the African Union.” Not a word from Kerry or Sherman.
Fact #2: Election is a carnival for the T-TPLF
Is it necessary to drag the Ethiopian people thorough a year-long election carnival?
The truth of the matter is that May 24 is when the T-TPLF Brothers Circus comes to town. All of the T-TPLF clowns, acrobats, tightrope walkers, jugglers trained animals, trapeze acts and stunt masters will be out in full force. The ringmasters will slither out of the woodwork and proclaim how “Ethiopia is a young democracy” and how the T-TPLF “won” a hard fought election. The fire breathers will come out and threaten anyone who demonstrates or protests the outcome of the elections. The T-TPLF jugglers will be juggling gibberish about how fair the election is. The contortionists will contort the truth. Of course, the big clown (or is it the marionette, puppet) will grandstand and declare, “The T-TPLF has won.”
It’s fun to go to the circus. The T-TPLF has succeeded in creating a great circus atmosphere. I even got to watch one of the sideshows on TV. The T-TPLF calls it a debate. It wasn’t much of a debate. The Blue Party chairman made breakfast, lunch and dinner of the malaria-researcher-turned-instant-foreign-minister Tedros Adhanom. What about the “political space that has been closed”? What about the “journalists, political activists, civil society leaders that have been sent to jail or forced to leave the country?” What about the fusion of party and government?
Tedros sat there vacant and lost. He did not have much to say that made sense. “We expected the opposition to come up with a plan… blah… blah… blah…” Really, like his bogus Growth and Transformation Plan?
Adhanom was as uncomfortable as a rooster in a pond. Talking about a pond, Adhanom should really go back to the pond and chase mosquitoes. He has no place in politics. Oops! He is the next prime minister?! Touché!
Fact #3: The May 24 “election” in Ethiopia is not an election
They say what is sauce for the goose is good for the gander. Or is it?
Not to the Obama Administration. An election may be an election or not an election depending upon who does the election rigging and stealing. If the SOB who stole the election is not a friend, then it is a stolen election. If the SOB that stole the election is a friend, then a stolen election is not a stolen election. It is just an election that does not meet international standards. That is the Obama African election drama.
When Robert Mugabe “won” his presidential election in August 2013 by 61 percent,
Secretary of State John Kerry sent the following “congratulatory”note condemning Mugabe’s victory: “Make no mistake: in light of substantial electoral irregularities reported by domestic and regional observers, the United States does not believe that the results announced today represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people…”
Two weeks ago when Omar Hassan al-Bashir claimed reelection in the Sudan by a 94.01 percent and declared that his National Congress Party (NCP) has won 323 of 426 parliamentary seats, the “Troika” (U.S., U.K. and Norway) damned him. “The Troika regret the Government of Sudan’s failure to create a free, fair, and conducive elections environment. Restrictions on political rights and freedoms, counter to the rights enshrined in the Sudanese Constitution, the lack of a credible national dialogue” make “the outcome of these elections” as being not “a credible expression of the will of the Sudanese people.”
In the next few days, the U.S., U.K., Norway and the rest of the Western donors and loaners will come out single file to pay homage to the great Ethiopian election.
I am going to be really disappointed if the T-TPLF does not win by at least 94.02 percent. They can’t let Bashir beat them. Frankly, if they win by 90 percent or something, I don’t know what I am going to do. That’s just rock bottom. That will make Meles, not roll, spin in his grave. The T-TPLF gang has street creds to keep. I just hope they won’t wimp out and report anything less than 99.7 percent. They gotta keep the winning streak going.
I can’t wait to hear Evelyn Sherman bleating praises to the T-TPLF and how they have strengthened democracy in the “young Ethiopia democracy.” I can imagine her babbling, “The young Ethiopian democracy has won!” Maybe she is so happy she might sing, “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay. My, oh my, what a wonderful election day in May for the T-TPLF.”
We should all prepare to hear a whole lot of horse feathers (I did not say bull feathers) about the election from menda-duplicitous U.S. diplocrats (a term I coined to describe hyprocrisy-ridden, lyin’-through-the-teeth American and Western diplomats and poverty pimps).
Let them knock themselves out celebrating a scam election. After all, they paid for in cold hard cash. They deserve a little fun for the billions they have dumped on the T-TPLF. It’s only fair.
What happens after the T-TPLF balloons pop and the popped champagne bottles run dry?
It will be business as usual on March 25. That is not to say the T-TPLF is not prepared to deal with any protests. They have their well-armed goons itching to pull the trigger. All it takes is a snap of the fingers to loosen those dogs of war on civilian protesters. Remember 2005. REMEMBER THE MELES MASSACRE!
In the next few days, expect to read a statement along the following lines from the White House and the National Security Council:
We acknowledge the conclusion of Ethiopia’s parliamentary elections on May 24, 2015. We commend the people of Ethiopia for their civic participation and note that the voting proceeded peacefully.
We are concerned there were few international observers and are concerned elections fell short of international commitments. We are disappointed that U.S. Embassy officials were denied accreditation and the opportunity to travel outside of the capital on Election Day to observe the voting. The limitation of independent observation and the harassment of independent media representatives are deeply troubling.
An environment conducive to free and fair elections was not in place even before Election Day. In recent years, the Ethiopian government has taken steps to restrict political space for the opposition through intimidation and harassment, tighten its control over civil society, and curtail the activities of independent media. We are concerned that these actions have restricted freedom of expression and association and are inconsistent with the Ethiopian government’s human rights obligations.
As voting concludes and the results are announced, we call on all parties to reject violence. We await the final assessments of the electoral process from independent observers, and encourage the government to address in good faith and impartially any concerns and disputes that are raised.
Ethiopia and the United States have a multifaceted relationship and share a number of important interests. We urge the Ethiopian government to ensure that its citizens are able to enjoy their fundamental rights. We will work diligently with Ethiopia to ensure that strengthened democratic institutions and open political dialogue become a reality for the Ethiopian people.
Expect a statement along the following lines from the U.S. State Department”:
The preliminary results announced by the National Election Board indicate that the ruling party secured an overwhelming victory. It is our assessment that throughout the electoral process, freedom of choice for voters was constrained by the actions and inactions of Ethiopian Government officials, the National Elections Board of Ethiopia, and the ruling political party and its cadres. A number of laws, regulations, and procedures implemented since the previous parliamentary elections in 2005 created a clear and decisive advantage for the ruling party throughout the electoral process.
We have a broad and comprehensive relationship with Ethiopia, but we have expressed our concerns on democracy and governance directly to the government. Measures the Ethiopian Government takes following these elections will influence the future direction of U.S.-Ethiopian relations. It is important that Ethiopia move forward in strengthening its democratic institutions, and when elections are held, that it offer a level playing field to give everyone a free opportunity to participate without fear or favor.
Karl Marx said, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” Could it also be the other way around? We have seen one more T-TPLF election farce. What tragedy could be repeated in 2015?
REMEMBER 2005. REMEMBER THE MELES MASSACRES OF NOVEMBER!
by Alemayehu G Mariam