|Founded||1 December 2019|
|Ideology||Ethiopian nationalism |
|House of Peoples' Representatives|
512 / 547
The Prosperity Party (Amharic: ብልግና ፓርቲ; Oromo: Paartii Badhaadhiinaa PB, Somali: Xisbiga Barwaaqo) is a political party in Ethiopia established on December 1, 2019 as a successor to the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) by incumbent Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The merger into a countrywide party is part of Abiy's general policy of distancing the country's politics from ethnic federalism, and it will thus run for the first time in the 2021 general election.
The Prosperity Party was formed and formally recognised by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) in December 2019 through the merging of three former EPRDF member parties, the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) and the Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement (SEPDM). The Afar National Democratic Party (ANDP), the Benishangul-Gumuz People's Democratic Unity Front (BGPDUF), the Ethiopian Somali People's Democratic Party (ESPDP), the Gambela People's Democratic Movement (GPDM) and the Hareri National League (HNL) were also included in the merger. The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), the dominant party in the former EPRDF for 27 years and the only one not to join the new party, were critical of it upon its formation. The refusal escalated into the Tigray conflict in November 2020.
The program and by-laws of the party were first approved by the executive committee of the EPRDF. Abiy tweeted:
The unanimous decision passed today to merge the Party is a crucial step in harnessing our energy to work toward a shared vision. Prosperity Party is committed to strengthening & applying a true Federal system which recognizes the diversity and contributions of all Ethiopians.
The Prosperity Party has been seen as supporters of Ethiopian civic nationalism due to the merger of the Oromo Democratic Party with the Amhara Democratic Party, Argoba People's Democratic Organization, Benishangul-Gumuz People's Democratic Unity Front, Ethiopian Somali People's Democratic Party, Gambela People's Democratic Movement, Afar National Democratic Party, Hareri National League, and the Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement ethnicity-based political parties into the new multi-ethnic Prosperity Party, thus moving these predecessor parties away from their ethnic nationalist and pro-ethnic federalism past into a party that promotes Ethiopian national identity, and non-ethnicity based federalism - all of which are seen by opponents as steps towards taking political powers based on group rights away from the various ethnic groups, while proponents see it as a way to move Ethiopian politics and governmental administration away from ethnicity-based identity politics, supporting the individual rights of each person, to mitigate the rise of ethnic nationalism, to foster national unity and solidarity, and to include in the democratic process political parties of several ethnic groups and regions that were once deemed too inferior by the Tigray People's Liberation Front-led Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front regime to fully join the one-party dominated coalition government or be full partakers in revolutionary democracy because of their largely pastoralist way of life.
Internal organisation and ethnic tensions within the Prosperity Party
The Prosperity Party (PP) is organised along ethnic lines. There is an Amhara PP (APP), an Oromia PP (OPP), Somali PP (SPP),Sidama PP (SPP) even a Tigrayan PP, led by Nebiyou ShulMichael and of which Abraham Belay and Dr Mulu Nega are prominent members. Many other ethnic groups have their own PP branch.
The Tigray PP is in strong conflict with the leading TPLF as it supports Abiy Ahmed's Tigray War (2020-2021). Due to this war, the Tigray PP has become totally isolated in the Tigray's public opinion, to the point that one of the regional PP leaders, Abraham Belay, has been forbidden by his mother to visit her house and her neighbourhood. In March 2021, Oromia Prosperity Party (OPP) and Amhara Prosperity Party (APP) came with opposite statements, each blaming the other ethnic group for being the cause of violence and killings.
The party's logo consists of two black hands holding three human figures, one blue, one yellow, and one pink, with sun rays shooting outwards from the human figures.
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- Ethiopian News Agency, 29 December 2020.Tigray Prosperity Party Inaugurates Office in Mekelle
- New Business Ethiopia, 19 February 2020: Abiy meets Prosperity Party leaders from Tigray
- Jan Nyssen, 2021. The situation in Tigray at the beginning of 2021. Preprint for HBS.
- Addis Standard, 24 March 2021: Amhara & Oromia PP engage in war of words as relative peace returns to violence hit areas
- Addisstandard (2021-03-22). "News: Unknown number of people killed in ongoing violence in Oromia Special Zone and North Shewa Zone, Amhara region as warring factions trade blame". Addis Standard. Retrieved 2021-03-24.