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Ethiopia: Democracy Deepening Slowly but Surely

Democracy is a concept that affords people a say on their socio-economic and political life. It enables them to shape their destiny.

On the other hand, the active participation of people in the socioeconomic and political activities of their country allows democracy send deeper roots. The active participation of the public and the democratization process therefore cross fertilize each other.

Democracy is a way which people pass a decision directly or via their representatives. A democratic system is the rule by the people for the people. Democracy is all about upholding the voice of citizens, the sovereignty of the people and the supremacy of the constitution. Hence there is no gainsaying that democracy is a decisive tool people of a given country need have in their backpacks while striving towards a good governance, fate changing administration as well as an affluent life.

Against this backdrop, some turning overambitious, expect democracy to take shape overnight and as such cry foul when some rights guaranteed by the constitution are not observed to the letter. They seem oblivious to the reality that if at all absolute perfection is attainable it could but precipitate through time. Or more precisely they fail to stomach democracy has to actualize slowly but surely. For that matter a democracy that takes shape overnight or out of a vacuum could have a detrimental effect as it stop short of a foothold.

Of course as those on this side of the scale argue all should be accountable to the rule of law. And the boundary among the legislative, judiciary and executive must not be blurred. However they should take into account that for a country that emerges out from a murky past, setting the ground smooth could not be a honeymoon.

It is gradually internalizing the value of elections citizens increase their participation. It is also down the road people nurture the culture of tasting the sweetness of democracy to the full in time of election or otherwise. It must not be a seasonal fad. As witnessed in developed countries, when the consciousness of citizens grow and economic uplifts ensues democracy will not be tardy in coming.

Back to the over ambitious, they demand political pluralism to take shape outright claiming the occupation of the larger segment of the political landscape by the dominant party will cast a shadow over the fledgling ones. However it is through active participation the fledgling parties achieve potency and buy credence among the electorate.

Borrowing instances from Britain in one hand and America and France on the other hand there are some who argue, in materializing, democracy has two options or forms — a gradual process or a revolutionary one. They claim as Ethiopia espouses and enunciated a revolutionary democracy it must go ahead in catalyzing the process.

Downplaying the midwifery role of armed struggle for democratization, they highlight accommodating differences, accepting defeat and the active role of middle class for change as some of the intricate factors at play for change.

Some in the opposite end of the scale argue otherwise. They claim in light of what unfolded in some African and Latin American countries the democratization process in Ethiopia has kept a good pace.

They corroborate their claim saying that it is dragging it out of uncharted water the government has set the country, which was sweltering under the yoke of feudalism and tyranny for long, on the path of democratization.

As the rural community comprises 80 per cent of the population a democratization process that doesn’t take the major segment of the society on board is as good as dead.

Dilating on the matter they suggest democratization presupposes democratic institutions, political pluralism, economic deliverance and education.

Under the Ethiopian context the democratization process in the country is attended by peace and stability. It is on this salubrious condition the government brought into play investment flourished in Ethiopia. Unlike the case in previous regimes voicing one’s opinion and stance openly in accordance to the right enshrined in the constitution is the liberty citizens are enjoying. The culture is litmus test to budding democracy.

In bringing change into play such as democratization two forces the outmoded and the new get locked in a fierce struggle. The radical force will soon grasp the upper hand. That is what is happening in Ethiopia today. We need water the flower of democracy opening its eyes. (Ethiopian Herald)

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