Ethiopian Somali People's Democratic Party

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Ethiopian Somali People's Democratic Party
የኢትዮጵያ የሶማሌ ሕዝቦች ዴሞክራሲዊ ፓርቲ
Leader Mohamed Rashid iIsak
Founded 1998
Merger of Ethiopian Somali Democratic League, Ogaden National Liberation Front factions
Headquarters Jijiga
Newspaper Midnimo
Youth wing ESPDP Youth League
Membership  (2010) 900,000[1]
Ideology Democratic socialism,
Political position Centre-left
Seats in the House of Peoples' Representatives
24 / 547

Cited from party website

The Ethiopian Somali People's Democratic Party (ESPDP; Amharic: የሶማሌ ሕዝቦች ዴሞክራሲዊ ፓርቲ?) is a political party in Ethiopia, officially representing the Somali people in Ethiopia. It is allied with, but not a member of, the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

In the last general elections, the SPDP won 24 seats.[2] These seats include 23 from the Somali Region and one from the chartered city of Dire Dawa. In the local elections for the Somali Region, which was held 30 May of that year, the SPDP won 75 seats in 13 kebeles of the Jijiga city council, 4,032 seats in 52 woredas as well as 47,849 seats in 706 kebeles of the Somali Region.[3]

Its leading members include Abdi Mohamoud Omer, Mawlid Hayir current Ethiopian Somali Regional President and Vice-President,[4] and Mohamed Rashid Isak, Ethiopian Somali Region Council Speaker and ((Fertun Abdi Mahdi)) Head of central office of the party.

Electoral record[edit]

At the general elections held 15 May 2005, the SPDP won 24 seats, 23 from the Somali Region and one from the chartered city of Dire Dawa. The chairman of the Pastorialist Affairs Committee for that session of Parliament was a member of the party.[5] In the August 2005 Regional assembly elections, the party won 161 out of 182 seats in the Somali Region.[6]

In the 2008 by-elections, the SPDP won 74 seats in 16 kebeles in the Dire Dawa City Administration Council, and on the woreda level won 5,497 seats giving it complete control in 12 kebeles and partial control in 19 kebeles.[7]

In the 2000 general elections, the SPDP won 19 seats (from the 23 allocated to the Somali State). In the Regional assembly elections of that year, the party won 150 seats out of 165 in the Region, while the remaining 15 seats were divided between two opposition parties.[8]


The SPDP was created from the merger of the Ethiopian Somali Democratic League (ESDL) and a splinter group of the Ogaden National Liberation Front in June 1998, after the ESDL had splintered into feuding factions, discrediting itself in the eyes of Somali-Ethiopians and losing the support of the ruling EPRDF.[9] However, like the ESDL before it, the Somali People's Democratic Party is considered by many inhabitants of the Somali Region to be "an EPRDF puppet", who accuse its members "of corruption and incompetence".[10]

The party observed the eleventh anniversary of its founding in Filtu, where numerous improvements to the infrastructure of the Liben Zone were announced.[11]


  1. ^ "About ESPDP", Ethiopian Somali People's Democratic Party website (accessed 23 January 2011)
  2. ^ Elections in Ethiopia, African Elections Database (accessed 23 March 2011)
  3. ^ "Official Results of the 23rd May 2010 General Election" Archived 24 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine., website of the Ethiopian Embassy to Sweden (accessed 23 March 2011)
  4. ^ Dirir Mohamoud (Ethiopia) Archived 28 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine. AfDevInfo website (accessed 14 May 2009)
  5. ^ Ethiopian House of Peoples' Representatives Website Archived 22 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ African Elections Database
  7. ^ "The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia Official Result of the Local and By-Elections Held on April 13 and April 20, 2008" Archived 25 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Walta Information Center, May 2008 (accessed 17 March 2009)
  8. ^ "Ethiopia: Somali State elections 'fair'", IRIN, 2 October 2000 (accessed 23 February 2009)
  9. ^ Tobias Hagmann, Mohamud H. Khalif: "State and Politics in Ethiopia's Somali region since 1991", Bildhaan: the International Journal of Somali Studies, 6 (2006), p. 30
  10. ^ "Ethnic Federalism and the Somali Region under the EPRDF" in Ethiopia: Army Commits Executions, Torture, and Rape in Ogaden, published 11 June 2008 Human Rights Watch (last accessed 10 December 2008)
  11. ^ "11th founding anniversary of Somali People Democratic Party celebrated", Ethiopian News Agency 4 July 2009 (accessed 1 November 2009)