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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:TPLF (Tigray People's Liberation Front): Reform or Decline?
Authors:Young, John
Tadesse, Medhane
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:political change
Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front
Tigray People's Liberation Front
Politics and Government
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/04
Abstract:This paper examines the causes of the March 2001 political crisis in the TPLF (Tigray People's Liberation Front). Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister, emerged dominant and initiated what was described as a wide-ranging process of internal reform in the EPRDF (Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front). Launched in 1975, the largely student-led TPLF developed its ideology in the most conservative province of Ethiopia. In 1989, it formed a coalition of ethnically based organizations, the EPRDF, to give itself Ethiopia-wide political scope and legitimacy. The TPLF made compromises at every step, no doubt necessary to achieve its ultimate objective of gaining power, but, at the same time, weakening its struggles against the feudal values and institutions that dominated, and still dominate, Ethiopian society. By turning away from the commitment to a full-scale transformation of the Ethiopian State and society, and by reducing its enthusiasm for 'gim gema' ('evaluation', designed to critically assess every aspect of the TPLF) and collective leadership, it sowed the seeds for the crisis of 2001. The authors conclude that while there were differences over policy and ideology among the leadership, of equal significance was a contest over power. This involved struggles between Meles and a dozen of his colleagues, between elements associated with State organs and those associated with the party apparatus, and between Tigray-based TPLF officials and those around the prime minister. Bibliogr., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]