Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement

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The Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (Amharic: የኦሮሞ ፌደራሊስት ዴሞክራቲክ ንቅናቄ?, Oromo: Warraaqsa Federaalistii Uummata Oromoo, OFDM) is a political party in Ethiopia, created to further the interests of the Oromo people. At the last legislative elections, on 15 May 2005, the party won 11 seats, all from the Oromia Region. The party Whip is Mesfin Nemera Deriesa from the Mirab Welega Zone.[1] The Chairman is Bulcha Demeksa.

In the August 2005 Regional assembly elections, the party won 10 out of 537 seats in the Oromia Region.[2] Bulcha Demeksa, announced in mid-April that his party would boycott the second round of voting in the 2008 Ethiopian local elections, joining a number of other opposition parties.[3] Despite this, the OFDM picked up one seat in the 116 towns which held elections for their administrative councils.[4]

Recent developments[edit]

The OFDM recently joined forces with other Ethiopian opposition groups to form Medrek, otherwise known as the Forum for Democratic Dialogue. Other members of Medrek include the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces led by Beyene Petros, the ARENA party, former president Negasso Gidada, and former Minister of Defense Siye Abraha. In June 2008, the OFDM accused the Ethiopian government of ignoring the ethnic conflict in western Ethiopia which allegedly killed 400 Oromos.[5] The OFDM called it a massacre and blamed the government as being at least "an accomplice." [6]

OFDM Secretary General Bekele Jirata was arrested 13 January 2009, along with at least 14 other ethnic Oromo for alleged ties to the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front and a previously unknown armed group, Kawerj, connections which were denied by the OFDM.[7] He was released 4 February 2009 on bail. No date has been set for his trial.[8]

References[edit]